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Anti-smokers brought to book

It's half-term so yesterday we visited my parents in Derbyshire. They live in a small hamlet in the Peak District. It was a beautiful day so I sat in the garden and read Velvet Glove, Iron Fist: A History of Anti-Smoking by Chris Snowdon which is published next month.

I can't speak highly enough of this extraordinary labour of love. I've read many books on smoking and this is best by far. It's a superb read. To use that old cliche, it's a page-turner, which is some achievement. It's packed with information but it's also very readable - serious yet hugely entertaining.

Better still, this is no fire-breathing polemic. The amount of research that has gone into it is staggering. And the tone is moderate throughout which is important because it will appeal to a far wider readership.

Velvet Glove, Iron Fist is published on 22 June. Forest is hosting the book launch at Boisdale where Chris will be signing copies and saying a few words. You can also pre-order your copy HERE.

In the meantime I will wet whet (!) your appetite by publishing the occasional snippet on this blog.

Reader Comments (9)

I agree with everthing Simon says. Can I also add that Chris will be more generously compensated for his efforts if you order the book via his website, rather than from other online outlets.

May 29, 2009 at 12:02 | Unregistered Commenterjon

In the meantime I will wet your appetite...

Sorry to be pedantic, Simon, but shouldn't that be: "In the meantime I will whet your appetite"? To wet something is to pour cold water on it, but to whet something is to sharpen it, as upon a whetstone.

But then, perhaps you meant exactly what you said. So go ahead: pour cold water on my appetite!

May 29, 2009 at 12:18 | Unregistered Commenteridlex

I stand corrected!

May 29, 2009 at 12:26 | Registered CommenterSimon Clark

That's better!. I look forward to my appetite being keenly whetted.

May 29, 2009 at 16:05 | Unregistered Commenteridlex

Perhaps a copy should be sent to every one of the 646 who have the power to amend the ban rather as LPUK sent each a copy of 'Nineteen Eighty Four' (when, of course, we know who the 646 will be in view of current events).

May 29, 2009 at 20:24 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Actually, I don't need to have my appetite whetted. I've already read enough of Christopher Snowdon to know that he is both an excellent researcher and a beautiful writer of English.

Which matters more? To be able to dig through all the smoking studies, all these probabilities, all those Relative Risks, all that mathematics? Or to be able to express it all in magnificent and compelling English?

I have no doubt, myself: the greater ability is to write good English. And Christopher Snowdon is a master of English - even if he occasionally (like Simon, who is also a great master of English) makes a slight mistake now and again.

May 30, 2009 at 4:19 | Unregistered Commenteridlex

If Christopher Snowdon is a master of English, then why does he use the redundant "pre-order"?

May 31, 2009 at 11:10 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Over on the Smoking Ban Blog (yahoo) one thread is entitled "Smokers Should be Shot.
The anties are warming to their work.
Come along and support the smokers there, there are a few rabid anti smoking fanatics.

June 1, 2009 at 1:30 | Unregistered CommenterMary

There may be a few rabid anits there - but they always run a mile when confronted with proper opposition.

The extremists that matter (ie, with all the money) decline to debate with true science because they know they don't have an arguement.

June 2, 2009 at 0:43 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

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