‘Killer High’: Mind-altering substances were key to wars throughout US history

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The cover of “Killer High.” Credit: Oxford University Press.

The United States has been fighting the War on Drugs ever since President Nixon declared warfare in 1971. But drugs and war have been inseparable for centuries, from ancient Rome, to imperial Britain, to the Vietnam era, and up to today.  Drugs have been taken, taxed, fought over, and exploited – not just by illegal traffickers and narco-terrorists, but by powerful states.

Political science professor Peter Andreas argues that six psychoactive drugs have been particularly potent war ingredients. His new book is “Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs.”

Credits

Guest:
Peter Andreas - author of “Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs;” Brown University

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Alexandra Sif Tryggvadottir, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski