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Customer Review

8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Problem from the get-go, January 18, 2008
This review is from: Absinthe the Cocaine of the Nineteenth Century: A History of the Hallucinogenic Drug and Its Effect on Artitsts and Writers in Europe and the United (Hardcover)
Let me begin by stating that I have not read this book. But the title informs me that I do not need to. Modern science has demonstrated that the dreaded "absinthism" that was the ruin of so many in at the turn of the 20th century was the stuff of (green) fairytales, while absinthe itself was merely an intoxicating, alcoholic drink. Let me be clear: when absinthe is distilled correctly, there is absolutely no reason for it to cause hallucinations. The chemicals simply aren't there. What absinthe can do is create a "lucid" experience of intoxication; that is, because it includes both alcohol and herbal stimulants, it can engender an alcoholic buzz while allowing you to remain more mentally alert than you would if you were drinking, say, vodka. That said, you should by no means consider this a good reason to try drinking absinthe and driving, or drinking absinthe and determining how attractive the girl you just met is, or drinking absinthe and writing an essay for school. But taken in moderation, it is simply a lovely alcoholic beverage that is now legal again in the U.S. because we now know it isn't really any more dangerous than any other alcoholic beverage. So, no, absinthe was by no means the cocaine of the nineteenth-century. In fact, in the closing years of the 19th century, cocaine became the cocaine of the 19th century, only that it was recommended by MDs to dispatch headaches and toothaches.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 2, 2008 12:26:31 AM PDT
Wintertiger says:
The "modern science" to which you refer is one tiny lab that has two absinthe manufacturers on its small research team (and almost certainly paying the bill), a big conflict of interest. They are driving all the latest "research" and press on absinthe. Their agenda is to make the high-end drinking market believe their absinthe is safe and authentic. Maybe it is, maybe it is not. Read the Erowid website FAQs on absinthe for a more extensive and balanced discussion of the topic. Thujone is definitely psychoactive and ultimately toxic if you take enough, and it may be cumulative. Oh, and "modern science" flatly rejects your assertion about lucidity and herbal stimulants; they say it is alcohol, nothing more. The extra effect you describe IS the historical difference, which the absinthe producers deny.

Mark, you reviewed a title. That is pretty odd.

Posted on Mar 30, 2011 10:02:31 AM PDT
Real Reader says:
Mark - Your irrelevant comments and unjustified rating of this book are nothing more than a complete waste of space, not to mention, a clear violation of the policies and guidelines you agreed to follow. Reviewing a book you haven't even bothered to read based solely on the title only does damage to you, not the author. The only thing you have proven here is that you are an incompetent reviewer and any credibility you might have had has been reduced to zero.
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