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Smoking Under the Tsars: A History of Tobacco in Imperial Russia

Smoking Under the Tsars: A History of Tobacco in Imperial Russia

Publisher

Cornell University Press

ISBN

978-1501722073
Smoking Under the Tsars: A History of Tobacco in Imperial Russia

Smoking Under the Tsars: A History of Tobacco in Imperial Russia

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Approaching tobacco from the perspective of users, producers, and objectors, Smoking under the Tsars provides an unparalleled view of Russia’s early adoption of smoking. Tricia Starks introduces us to the addictive, nicotine-soaked Russian version of the cigarette—the papirosa—and the sensory, medical, social, cultural, and gendered consequences of this unique style of tobacco use.

Starting with the papirosa’s introduction in the nineteenth century and its foundation as a cultural and imperial construct, Starks situates the cigarette’s emergence as a mass-use product of revolutionary potential. She discusses the papirosa as a moral and medical problem, tracks the ways in which it was marketed as a liberating object, and concludes that it has become a point of increasing conflict for users, reformers, and purveyors.

The heavily illustrated Smoking under the Tsars taps into bountiful material in newspapers, industry publications, etiquette manuals, propaganda posters, popular literature, memoirs, cartoons, poetry, and advertising. Starks frames her history within the latest scholarship in imperial and early Soviet history and public health, anthropology and addiction studies. The result is an ambitious social and cultural exploration of the interaction of institutions, ideas, practice, policy, consumption, identity, and the body. Starks has reconstructed how Russian smokers experienced, understood, and presented their habit in all its biological, psychological, social, and sensory inflections, providing the reader with incredible images and a unique application of anthropology and sensory analysis to the experience of tobacco dependency.

About the Author

Tricia Starks

Tricia Starks

Title VIII Short Term Research Scholar,
Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Arkansas
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Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American expertise and knowledge of Russia, Ukraine, and the region. Through its residential fellowship programs, public lectures, workshops, and publications, the Institute strives to attract, publicize, and integrate new research into the policy community.  Read more