8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
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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