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Álcool e drogas na história do Brasil [Alcohol and Drugs in the History of Brazil]
by Renato Pinto Venancio & Henrique Carneiro (Eds.)
Publisher:
Alameda Casa Editorial / Ed. PUC Minas 
Year:
2005 
ISBN:
85-98325-11-2 
Categories:
Book Reviews
Reviewed by Renato Sztutman, 2/20/2012

[Both Alcohol and Drugs in the History of Brazil and The Ritual Use of Plants of Power are covered in this review]


A New Light on the Issue of Drugs

Two collections of articles analyze historical, political and anthropological aspects of the use of psychoactive substances

The distinctions between drugs and food, vice and necessity, and medicine and poison may be found in history. The articles in Alcohol and Drugs in the History of Brazil show, for example, that modern mercantilism has favored the commerce of certain substances such as wine and tobacco, suppressing the use of others, which began to be associated with addiction and marginality and have been regarded as harmful to health. [...]

The ideas in these two collections make clear the politicization—at different times and places—of the use of psychoactive substances. Alcohol and Drugs in the History of Brazil highlights how this ban cannot be dissociated from the stigmatization of certain groups that are claiming their place in the world, a claiming that tends to occur within a movement to reappropriate certain “damned” substance, such as caium, the corn or cassava beer of the Tupinambá Indians along the coast of Brazil in the sixteenth century, and the sugar cane rum of both the Quilomba Maroon settlements and the “excluded” state of Minas Gerais in Brazil in the 18th century.

Read the full review of Alcohol and Drugs in the History of Brazil and The Ritual Use of Plants of Power...

Originally Published In : Portuguese in Trópico in 2005: Nova luz sobre a questão das drogas

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