- Hardcover: 752 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (February 28, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520270169
- ISBN-13: 978-0520270169
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition 1st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
"Robert Proctor unpacks the sad history of an industrial fraud. His tightly reasoned exploration touches on all topics on which the tobacco makers lied repeatedly to Congress and the public."--Don Kennedy, President Emeritus, Stanford University and former Editor, Science
"This book is a remarkable compendium of evil. It will keep you spinning from page one through the last with a detailed description of how one of the most notorious industries in American history deceived and manipulated the public, the politicians, and the scientific community into allowing an age-old toxin to be breathed directly into the lungs of millions of Americans. It is the type of book that makes you wonder how, in God’s name, this could have happened?"-David Rosner, author of Deceit and Denial
"Proctor powerfully documents how a small number of tobacco companies caused a tragic, global epidemic. His account of this history and of the 'lessons learned' is relevant to the ongoing effort to end the tobacco epidemic and to efforts to control emerging pandemics of non-communicable diseases." --Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., M.S., Director, Institute for Global Health, University of Southern California
Proctor weaves together the public historical record with inside details and insights from thousands of once secret industry documents. Anyone who cares about health, deception, science or politics will learn something new from this book.”-Stanton A. Glantz, Professor of Medicine, UC San Francisco, and author of The Cigarette Papers
"A powerful indictment of the world's deadliest industry"-John R. Seffrin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, American Cancer Society
"By carefully analyzing formerly secret industry documents, Proctor has shown how cigarette manufacturers knew that the "filters" on virtually all cigarettes sold today are utterly fraudulent. His call for a ban is likely to change how we think about such devices; this excellent book is a must read for tobacco control and environmental activists alike."--Thomas E. Novotny, MD MPH, Former US Assistant Surgeon General and CEO, Cigarette Butt Pollution Project.
"Scholarly yet eminently readable, indeed gripping, this book asks us to consider what the end game for tobacco might look like. A must-read for policy makers and public health officials, and for anyone struggling against the tobacco industry in the field."--Professor Judith Mackay, Senior Advisor, World Lung Foundation, Hong Kong, China SAR"
"The machine-rolled cigarette is the single most deadly consumer product ever made. Proctor's powerful, witty, and wide-ranging book shows how we came to accept as normal the promotion and use of products that have caused a global epidemic of disease and death. But more importantly, he outlines a way to end this grim chapter in human history."--Ruth E. Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN, Editor, Tobacco Control
This is the most important book on smoking in fifty years. Proctor’s unique mix of scholarship, readability, wit and political understanding tells a no-holds-barred story with conclusions that governments cannot afford to ignore. It will change the course of public health history.”--Professor Mike Daube, President, Australian Council on Smoking and Health
"Proctor draws masterfully from a vast archive of documents wrested from the industry, including many never before discussed, and mounts an unforgettable case about what the tobacco industry has done and what we must do about it. This is the book to help us understand what we must do to save lives."--Peter Galison, author of Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps
"Golden Holocaust will stand indelibly as a landmark in the field of medicine and the history of science. It is a monument of committed scholarship and cool passion, making brilliant use of the new technics of data-mining to reveal a terrible calculus, while giving the lie to claims that advocacy must be the enemy of objectivity. Lives, far too many lives, depend on what this book contains."--Iain Boal, Birkbeck College, London and Guggenheim Fellow in Science and Technology
"Robert Proctor draws an unvarnished conclusion: that the tobacco industry, and the men who led it, were evil, plain and simple. They knowingly sold a product that, when used as intended, killed people. And then they conspired to suppress the evidence. Not everyone will agree with Proctor, but anyone interested in the intertwined issues of science and health, and culture and commerce, needs to read this book."--Naomi Oreskes, coauthor of Merchants of Doubt
Robert Proctor lays bare the deliberate choices made by the tobacco companies to addict their customers and cause premature death. Here is clarity to the unprecedented scientific fraud perpetrated by the tobacco industry.”--William A. Farone, Ph.D. Chairman, Applied Power Concepts, Inc. (formerly Director of Scientific Research for Philip Morris USA, 1977-1984).
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In the year 2000, Proctor published an interesting and well-documented book, "The Nazi War on Cancer" about how Adolf Hitler and the german Nazi regime were pioneers of the anti-smoking movement. But, instead of recognizing -- and criticizing -- the totalitarian tendencies of the contemporary anti-smoking movement, Proctor does the exact opposite, he actually approves of and admires Nazi policy. Wanting to control individual lifestyle choices, utilizing racketeering (through abusive taxation), blackmail (by social exclusion and discrimination via smoking bans), negation of freedom of speech, are indeed nazi methods, and valuing health and longevity as supreme ideals that override more democratic concerns about freedom and self-determination, considering the individual body as "state property" are very clearly nazi values and ideals.
Against this background, one can thus appreciate the subtle and perverse rhetoric of this book: by calling his book "Golden Holocaust", Proctor wants to imply that the real nazis are not the tyrannical control freaks that want to impose their own lifestyle choices, values and preferences upon a large minority of 20-30% smokers, but the industry that satisfies their desires, needs, and pleasures.
This comparison is insane, and deeply immoral.
-- Smokers, at one point of their lives, choose to start smoking, then choose to continue, and choose to stop -- or not stop smoking. That smoking is addictive changes nothing to the matter.
No jew -- or homosexual or gipsy -- has ever chosen to be deported to an extermination camp and to be executed in a gas chamber.
-- Smokers lose on average 8 years of their life expectancy due to smoking. The median age of death due to smoking is 77 years (as opposed to 85) in the most developed countries (in this case, Finland).
Jews were killed at all ages in the extermination camps -- without discrimination to wether they were infants, children, teenagers,
-- Willfully adopting a risky behavior -- even if it ends in premature death in 50% of cases -- is not the same thing as being killed by principle. If this where so, manufacturers of motorcycles, diving equipment, mountain-climbing equipment, skis and so on should also be called mass murderers guilty of a "holocaust"
In World War II Europe, nobody "chose" to be a Jew, and being a Jew didn't simply incur a "risk" of persecution and extermination, it meant certainty of persecution and extermination.
-- Smokers derive a form of pleasure -- or call it relaxation, consolation, stimulation, whatever -- from smoking --if it weren't so, no smoker would have any problems at all to quit . Denying this is simply intellectual dishonesty.
So Proctor's analogy would suggest that Holocaust victims experiences pleasure at being tortured and killed.
The whole idea of Proctor's book is so offensive and obscene that it is best to stop here . It is, sadly, a precious indicator of the resurgence of fascist tendencies in our times.
It is time to expose the ideas and aspirations of these people, and to vigorously combat them.
In the meantime, I can only hope that the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation, Yad Vashem, or even the State of Israel will start a lawsuit against Mr. Proctor.
Still, I am learning a great deal from this meticulously-documented book, which articulates the pervasive history of an industry that survives only by addicting children while their brains are developing. I thought I was reasonably familiar with the tactics and the people involved. I was wrong - almost every page reveals more examples. It is especially upsetting to read of the vast number of well-known people who have cooperated with the tobacco industry, even in recent years.
I repeat just one of many horribly-fascinating quotes (p.114), from Bob Herbert's interview with David Goerlitz, the "Winston Man."
'Goerlitz then asked whether any of the company's executives smoke and got this answer: "Are you kidding? We reserve that right for the poor, the young, the black and the stupid."
Tobacco marketeers seem the best in the world, terrifically inventive, but not in a good way. Pitting their skills against the judgement of children seems an unfair match. I'm learning they have been far more inventive than I thought. Adults can do as they wish, but very few adults start smoking and keep doing it. The typical age when adult smokers first started has moved down from the late teens to early teens. Proctor traces the various marketing campaigns that accomplished that goal (pp.71-83).
Proctor also discusses an odd connection of tobacco and climate change (pp.516-518). Tobacco production, distribution and use has a surprisingly high CO2 footprint, starting with cutting trees not just to grow tobacco but to cure it. Perhaps worse, tobacco pioneered many of the disinformation and doubt-creating tactics found pervasively today around environmental issues, as per Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Many of the main thinktanks involved in such activities turn out to have long histories of getting money from tobacco companies to help them. (Thank you, tobacco archives. It is a wonderful resource, as Proctor notes.)
The book's blurbs are from real experts, so I can add little, but to say this is very important book.
It will upset people ... and people should be upset.