Craze: Gin and Debauchery in an Age of Reason : Consisting of a Tragicomedy in Three Acts in which High and Low are Brought Together, Much to Their Mutual Discomfort ...

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Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003 - History - 267 pages
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Rotgut gin—cheap, widely available, and remarkably potent—was the overwhelming drug of choice among London's working poor in the early 1700s. Sold for pennies in taverns and squalid gin shops, on street corners and even in jails, gin was the original opiate of the masses, plunging England's capital into chaos and giving rise to the first modern drug scare. Craze is an engaging social history of gin and the men and women whose lives it touched: the poor who drank it, the distillers who made it, the members of Parliament who feared it, and the prime minister who relied on its tax revenues to line his pockets. Offering a rich political, social, and economic history of gin and the London of Hogarth and Dr. Johnson, Craze will intoxicate you with its blend of erudition, style, and wit.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

For the most part, a fine example of good history written for a popular audience. Jessica Warner examines the so-called "gin craze" period, which in England lasted, she suggests, from roughly 1720 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - usnmm2 - LibraryThing

A interesting social history of the"gin craze" of the early 1700's and the various "Gin Laws" passed by Parliment from 1729 till 1751. Sometime humrous, sometimes sad, sometimes the reading is a bit 'dry' (;D) but on the whole an educational and interesting read Read full review


Introduction I
A Curious Machine Makes a Brief Appearance

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