Craze: Gin and Debauchery in an Age of Reason by Jessica Warner

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In 1720, a new drink emerged as the overwhelming drug of choice among London's working poor; it was both affordable and many times stronger than traditional spirits. The beverage was gin, and the craze it initiated would become the 18th-century's equivalent of our crack cocaine epidemic. Craze is the first popular illustrated history to focus exclusively on the gin craze. Warner looks at the impact of "mother gin" from personal, political, and sexual perspectives. She draws on hundreds of primary sources, from Defoe to Dr. Johnson, guiding us through squalid back rooms, streets thronged with hawkers, raging mobs, and the halls of Parliament. The result is a timely, irreverent, utterly engrossing look at a city and a drug — and a drug scare — that helped shape our contemporary views of pleasure, consumption, and public morality.

Basic Books, 2002.
ISBN: 9781568582313. 268 pp.
Hardcover. Near fine in a near fine jacket.