Coca Wine: Angelo Mariani's Miraculous Elixir and the Birth of Modern Advertising (Paperback)Aymon de Lestrange (author)
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One of the oldest and most potent natural stimulants, the leaves of the coca plant are the organic source from which cocaine is synthesized. Fresh coca leaves and products made from them have verified medicinal and healing properties--and not the same addictive qualities or negative side effects as cocaine. In the late 19th century coca products became hugely successful in Europe and the United States. The most famous was Vin Mariani, a coca-based tonic wine developed by Corsican pharmacist Angelo Mariani (1838-1914). Many celebrities sang its praises, including Pope Benedict XV, Sarah Bernhardt, Thomas Edison, H. G. Wells, and the doctors of Ulysses S Grant, who credited Vin Mariani with giving him the strength to finish his memoirs before his death.
In this full-color illustrated history of coca wine, author Aymon de Lestrange follows Mariani's interest in coca from its medicinal applications as an anesthetic to the creation of the tonic wine. The author explores the botany of coca, how it differs from cocaine, its traditional use in pre-Columbian America, and scientific studies on coca from the 17th through 19th centuries, including from Sigmund Freud, who was a known user.
Looking to the future of coca, the author shows how it has gained renewed interest in the scientific community for its therapeutic and nutritional properties and in the spiritual community, which is seeking to rehabilitate the reputation of coca, the sacred plant of the Incas.
Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 1644 g
Dimensions: 254 x 203 x 25 mm
"Historians have long noted the role of Angelo Mariani's pioneering 19th-century beverage, Vin Mariani, in the history of coca and cocaine but yearned for a well-researched biography. This is finally it! Aymon de Lestrange's exhaustive reach and the many beautiful and lavish illustrations--many new discoveries--are alone a treasure. The chapter on Mariani's laboratory and its fascinating products is a rich contribution to knowledge. And Coca Wine is so timely: as failing drug prohibitions come into doubt across the globe, we need to know more about the positive cultural roles played by benign coca health products like Vin Mariani, which, like absinthe, may one day soon revive!" * Paul Gootenberg, author of Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug *
"Aficionados of the divine plant of the Incas in both its natural (coca) and synthetic (cocaine) forms will be fascinated to learn this time-honored (if sometimes reviled) intoxicant was once marketed as a tonic beverage--a fine Bordeaux with a kick--that made the cultured classes across Western Europe and the U.S. acclaim the superiority of Mariani's Coca Wine for both its medicinal and inspirational qualities and unleash a host of competitors, including one enterprising American druggist in Atlanta. Aymon de Lestrange has written the definitive study of this all-but-forgotten recreational beverage, enhanced by exquisite color reproductions of the work of the artists and designers for whom the wine inspired a style that stimulates our senses as much today as it did for our ancestors." * Michael Horowitz, cofounder of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library *
"Impressively informed and informative, beautifully illustrated throughout, notably comprehensive, exceptionally well written, organized and presented for both academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, Coca Wine: Angelo Mariani's Miraculous Elixir and the Birth of Modern Advertising is a unique, extraordinary, and highly recommended addition to community, college, and university library collections." * Midwest Book Review, Clint Travis *
"Coca Wine is beautifully designed with color images throughout, including advertisements, product packaging, period art, and portraits. The story is engrossing enough for the general reader and an easy read, but meticulously documented for the scholar. It is an important contribution to the histories of advertising, food and beverages, and drugs, and serves as an in-depth complement to Mark Pendergrast's For God, Country and Coca-Cola (CH, Oct'93, 31-1032) and Paul Gootenberg's Cocaine: Global Histories (Routledge, 1999). Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers." * J. M. Deutsch, Drexel University, CHOICE *