Kenneth V. Faunce, "Heavy Traffic: The Global Drug Trade in Historical Perspective" (Oxford UP, 2020)

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Much of the world's politics revolve around questions about the development of the international market for drugs; the roles merchants, government officials, and drug manufacturers played in shaping this market over time and space; and the process of globalization. There are no easy answers to these questions, but the decisions that all of us make about them will have tremendous consequences for individuals and for the planet in the future.

Kenneth V. Faunce's new book Heavy Traffic: The Global Drug Trade in Historical Perspective (Oxford UP, 2020) helps students to understand globalization not as an inevitable or natural process, but instead as one that is created by and responds to a variety of human motivations. Examining the international trade in coffee, alcohol, opium, heroin, and cocaine, which have had a significant impact on economies and societies in countries around the world, it offers insight into globalization as a historical process, thereby helping to make sense of today's interconnected world, where products grown or produced in only a handful of places circulate widely, with varying impacts on local populations.

Lucas Richert is an associate professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He studies intoxicating substances and the pharmaceutical industry. He also examines the history of mental health.

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