Paul Gootenberg


On his book Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug

Cover Interview of June 25, 2009


Our historical engagement with cocaine has saddled the United States with festering social problems (such as the world’s highest rates of racial incarceration), a permanent war on drugs against the Andes, and new troubles along our border with Mexico.  But knowledge of cocaine’s past has been both too anecdotal and too Eurocentric.  Andean Cocaine places cocaine’s history in its genuine Andean context and recovers a lively host of Andean actors.  I use new historical materials to analyze how our relationship with the drug was actually forged and rebuilt over the last century.  This story offers insights that may help us, one day, to resolve our bad global relationship with the drug.

For educated readers, and for the millions who lived through or partook of the age of cocaine, I promise a fascinating read.

© 2009 Paul Gootenberg