A truly original work of history….

Academic history can be, well, on the dry side. Fortunately, it does not have to be, as Tricia Starks, makes clear in her newly-published account, Smoking under the Tsars: A History of Tobacco in Imperial Russia (Cornell, 2018). The topic is naturally interesting (and controversial), but Stark’s account–part of a broader project on the history of Russia through the senses–makes the topic even more engaging.  I understand that a follow up study of smoking culture during the Soviet period is in the works. I look forward to reading that as well.