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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars7
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on December 13, 2012
Amazing illustrations punctuate a long-forgotten story of America's ongoing addiction to prohibition. A brief telling of how caffeine was for some time just as despised and criminal as cocaine is today segues to strong evidence of the special relationship between Harry Anslinger and the Coca Cola corporation that lead to that company's state-enforced monopoly on the retail benefits of coca. A perfect example of the madness that fuels State funded wars on plants, and a long-awaited sequel of sorts to the author's previous work on Marijuana, the book climaxes with the Bureau of Narcotics/Coca-Cola connection - a story of corruption, stupidity and needless human suffering in the eternal war between those who wish to live their own lives and those who wish to dictate the lives of others. A must read for caffeine users, cocaine users, coffee drinkers, coca chewer, law enforcement, Coca-cola drinkers and employees as well as anyone whose life has been impacted by the drug "war".
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on October 29, 2015
A Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola
One word came to mind while reading this book: HORRIBLE!
I can't believe anyone would say, "Wow!" after reading this book. It is shaped like a hardcover children's book and reads and is illustrated like one too, except, of course, the word "cocaine" doesn't often make an appearance in books written for children.
The book's title is misleading, but that doesn't stop Mr. Cortes from continuing his theme of sweetheart deals crafted by wayward government employees (e.g., kickbacks are alluded to but not specified) for Coca-Cola's financial success (i.e., source of funds for hinted-at kickbacks).
This book reveals no secrets. The company that imports coca leaves for Coca-Cola has a government-issued licence to do so. Every step of the process is transparent, highly regulated, and not at all unusual. Everyday, government-issued licenses allow some companies and individuals to do certain tasks that those who lack a license may not do. Easy example: physicians have a jurisdiction-specific, government-issued license to prescribe, order, administer, dispense, and/or procure prescription medications. To do so without a license is a crime.
The fact that coca leaves are imported to the United States, have their cocaine content removed, and then are shipped to be used as an ingredient to make Coca-Cola syrup has never been a secret. The information may have startled the author (and, just saying, he formerly wrote a book about the perks of marijuana; if that's where his expertise lies, then, yeah, I can see why Coca-Cola's coca leaves surprised him but that doesn't mean Americans at large have been denied information).
About 100 years ago, Coca-Cola chemists and executives fiddled with the original recipe. Federal agents had seized gallons of Coca-Cola syrup, which were the defendants in a case that made its way to the Supreme Court. (That's right, the syrup was the defendant ... not the humans who made the syrup. This happens a lot too.) The issue was not -- nor is now -- the cocaine content of the drink. Caffeine was considered an adulterant, robbing consumers of good health, and not a natural ingredient in the recipe. During the years that passed as the case moved upward and was then remanded downward, the folks at Coca-Cola decided to exit litigation by drastically lowering the syrup's caffeine content and, around the same time, ditched cocaine as well because the executives in Atlanta saw a prohibition against that drug coming.
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on August 11, 2013
I had not realized this was a signed copy. The book is astounding. My husband couldn't wait to for his chance to see it. Largely written at a juvenile level yet astoundingly informative. Perfect for any age -- and adults will find it enlightening and engaging. Gorgeously illustrated. Seller lost my order...didn't offer any compensation like free overnight shipping... but the item was overwhelmingly wonderful it was worth waiting 3 weeks. Not sure I would order from this source again... but this book astounded me.
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on January 8, 2013
It contains good information but it's so short. Guess it would be a good table top book. It would be good for a preteen.
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on January 4, 2013
This is one of those fun books that make great gifts for that certain someone who you know would appreciate these kinds of things. This person will LOVE THIS BOOK!
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on June 23, 2014
Prohibitionists are very evil people and they are able to get away with destroying people lives because citizens are not informed and do not have the info they need on the facts.
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on May 16, 2013
This book does have nice illustrations, but it is not about Coca Cola and that's my fault. It has very few words, and I needed a book for a report I was doing, so this didn't help. Since it came up very close to the top of the list when I searched Amazon for Coca Cola, I assumed incorrectly that it was all about the beverage - it's not all about Coke. I didn't read the entire description, and I paid for a book that I probably will never look at again. One star off for being too short. That's less than 60 pages or 23 cents per page, or 46 cents per sheet.
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