Fall 20134 / 43

Mercantilism is a strange being with an awkward past. The concept ironically owes a far greater debt to its foremost critic, Adam Smith, than to any of its supposed advocates. And, while most recent scholarship agrees that the Wealth of Nations painted a deceptively coherent portrait of 17th-century political economy and the commercial regulations these ideas supposedly engendered, Smith’s interpretation of a “mercantile system” has survived, informing the way we conceive both of early modern history as well as the nature of modern economy and politics.

This event has been moved to 304 Hamilton Hall, Columbia University. The drug war in the Americas faces two related crises: the dramatic wave of trafficker violence in Mexico and the rising challenge to U.S. strategies from a number of key Latin American states. Using the long history of hemispheric cocaine, Gootenberg will show how the sharply unintended impacts of prior U.S. drug interventions have brought the overseas drug war to this crossroads, and to the next phase of cocaine’s globalizing history.

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