Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

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Go to Consumer slash podcast 25 and for a limited time get $25 off when you use promo code podcast 25. That's Consumer slash podcast 25. promo code podcast 25. Oh, welcome once again to behind the bastards. The only podcast where the host regularly says that his show is cash money. I'm Robert Evans here to talk with you about bad people. Sophie Lecderman seems very unhappy, which is not cash money. No, I just have extreme secondhand embarrassment. Well, that's too bad, Sophie, because I'm bringing it back. As you know, everything you do reflects on me for some god forsaken reason. No, I know. And that is not very cash money. I think it's extremely cash money, if me. But here to be the tie breaking vote is James Stout. Now James, you're British. So the phrase cash money may not mean much to you. In your language, I would say it's drawings of an elderly man who's never worked today in his life. Yes, it is now. Cash money has very little value when it's tied to the life expectancy. Is it an in-bred old person with sausage fingers? I thought of a bunch of different ways of describing the new bills with King Charles on them. Part of me wanted to make a reference to the weird sex that got leaked of him in Camilla. Oh, yeah. I made an ethical decision that even the King of England deserves to have his sex be private. I just don't need nobody needed any help. Okay. Just ill. You don't want to think about him sneaking outside and what was it like getting his pajamas dirty and having his valet clean them? Yeah, that and his he's got some he's got a very specific kink. Oh, he's a kink. Okay. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah, as well as William. Yeah. Okay, kinky little. This is kink murdering his first wife, allegedly. No, it's a tampon thing. Oh. He talks about it at like. Oh, you're tense. Yeah, not not not expected. Yeah, we know far too much about what Charles has been sending to Ella. Yes, my heart breaking him out. I would say don't don't Google it. Yeah, I'm telling you the truth, but don't Google this. Okay. Hey, I have that don't. Anyway, so I just broke my promise right there not to laugh at the King of England's sexual interface. James, how do you feel about cigarettes? Oh, I think it's an idea wasn't expecting that. I kind of ambiguous, I guess. Yeah. A lot of bad things happen because people like to smoke cigarettes. A lot of people like to get really, really up in other people's business about smoking cigarettes. It's a difficult one. I have the same difficulty because on one hand, I'm kind of constitutionally anti-prohibition. I don't think things should be illegal or illegal. I don't think the government should stop people from doing stuff just because it's bad for their health. And I also see cultural value to an extent in cigarettes. I've had some memorable. I tend to believe that every single drug, even the ones that we call bad drugs, has an ideal use case where it is a societal good for the drug to be available. And for cigarettes, that good is when someone has just tried to kill you. There's nothing like a cigarette. Someone's just trying to kill her. Which is why they're so valuable outside of British nightclub. Yeah, exactly. One in the morning. Because you never know when a bottle's coming for your fucking temple there. No, you don't. That's it. You know, but I get it. It's one of those things. There was a need for a period of time where we attacked and demonized particularly the tobacco industry because they lied to everybody about the health risks of cigarettes in a way that caused that cost more lives, maybe than all of the wars in the last century. It's kind of an unbelievable body count. That's that I think today people throw down too much against smokers and maybe there's maybe we shouldn't be quite so shitty to people who just happen to smoke cigarettes. But what I wanted to talk about this week is fucking the history of cigarettes because as I dug into this, I was initially planning just to do an episode on Big Tobacco and how they hid the health harms of cigarettes. We will do those episodes. We're going to talk about that some of these. We will do dedicated episodes on those. But as I got into the research, I was continually amazed by the extent to which cigarettes are responsible for most of the things that we consider the modern world. In order to get people to smoke, the tobacco industry had to invent modern civilizations. Yes. That's a fascinating story. I just want to talk about it. It's one of those. We're getting behind a bastard. At this point, when we're talking about the 1800s up through the middle of the 20th century, you're not a bad person for necessarily for trying to get people to smoke because if it's 1905, number one, cigarettes not a massive risk above like walking outside your door. But also, you just don't have good data. The ambient level of smoking is pretty high, just some existing in any open area that time. Just from being around. We'll talk about that a bit. But first, we have to do some prehistory. Now, we don't know exactly when the first human beings started smoking or otherwise ingesting tobacco for the first time because it's a good chance. The earliest tobacco users were not smoking it. But we're broadly speaking. I mean, and there's debate about this too, but archaeologists can confirm that by at latest the first century BC, the Maya people of Central America were using tobacco as a part of their religious rituals. They were both smoking it and inhaling it in kind of a similar way to snuff, right? You can snort tobacco if it's ground finely enough. They probably also chewed it. There were a couple of different devices they had for smoking it. And we will never know which was like the first, right? Like we just know which ones we kind of have written records of early. Yes. But a lot of those written records come from Europeans. So obviously, that's a long time after they would have started using them. But and again, there's even some debate as to like, well, we're the Maya, the first people who were cultivating tobacco. And probably the answer to that is no. But we certainly know the Maya were cultivating tobacco in the first century BC and it's spread from Central America to the Mississippi Valley and beyond and was quickly adopted by neighboring peoples from like 400 to 700 AD is when you see most of this spread. And it makes it all the way out to the fucking Caribbean. Oh, yeah. That's where Columbus runs into it at first, right? That is exactly the next thing that happens in this episode of James Christopher Goddamn Columbus becomes the first European to encounter tobacco, which was being smoked by the natives of hispanola, which is modern day Haiti and the Dominican Republic via a weird, too pronged nose pipe. So they would they would smoke it, but they would like inhale it through this pipe that like, yeah, no snorkel kind of situation. Yeah, it looks a little bit, it looks a little bit like a cannula. Okay. Yeah, like a nasal cannula. Interesting. I made for my book of brief history of ice. I recreated these pipes as best I could. I went on to have actually using the stock of dry, like the dried stock of marijuana plants because it's hollow. And so I just had to kind of find why bins that were the right shape. That's obviously I don't think what they would have used. I don't know what they plant they would have used for it, but you do get pretty fucked up when you smoke raw nicotine rustica through directly into your mucus membrane. Yeah, I can see that one being pretty rough on the old sciences as well. I would not it's one of those things. You have to divorce kind of you're thinking about tobacco in this period from modern day because it's not number one. Most people smoking it. This is not a habitual thing for them. It's a ritual thing for them, right? There are people certainly by the time Columbus hits his banola who seem to just do it recreationally. But for the most part, most people some counters with tobacco is probably in like a very kind of fairly strict ritual sense. And also it's pretty uncommon to have like a habit. Even the people who would be heavy smokers, I doubt are smoking more than the equivalent of a couple of cigarettes in a day. In part because it's kind of hard to when you're smoking it. Yes. Right. Yeah. It's a lot of work that I imagine goes into producing a nose cigarette from growing the tobacco, or drying it out. Yeah. Yeah. That's a lot of work. And you also you can't smoke just when you when you want to fix because you don't have lighters. You don't have matches, right? Like fire. Obviously the people who are living, you know, in these places are a lot better at starting fires than most people in the modern world are. But it's still not nearly as easy, right? Like you're not going to just make a fire because you want like a fucking smoke in the like, yeah. Get it fired to allow. Get a piece of wood out. Yeah. Revege the piece of wood. So again, smoking even when it's not like for a religious purpose, it's probably broadly like, okay, it's meal time and we'll smoke after the meal, right? Or like smoke before because we've got the fire going or it's nighttime. We're cooling down. We've got the fire going, you know, now we can smoke tonight. Like generally, that's probably how it would have gone. When Columbus winds up, you know, meeting these people in 1492 and watching them smoke, they actually hand him tobacco and he doesn't know what to do with it until he watches them smoke it. And he sees he encounters a couple of different methods. He sees the nose pipes. He also sees people wrapping tobacco leaves with corn husks, which is probably the first cigarettes in history. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. It's also worth noting that over in Cuba, people would wrap their tobacco in tobacco leaves. So they were again, like hundreds and hundreds of years ago smoking cigars and Cuba, like that actually goes back really fucking far. Like probably more than a thousand years, people have been smoking something broadly similar to a cigar in that. That's pretty cool. It is kind of neat, right? I enjoy it. Yeah. Yeah, there are many things that we consume. I guess, you know, sometimes we eat vegetables and stuff, but there's not much that we consume that people consumed a thousand years ago. And it made in a pretty similar fashion, right? Like I've been to a Cuban cigar factory. It loves to be a little bit growled by hand. We're going to talk about that a lot in these episodes, but yeah, they obviously different techniques have become popular over time. You get better at it the way you get it anything. I'm sure modern cigars are much tighter and, you know, together better than cigars and 1492 did. But broadly speaking, like part, I mean, like I'm a cigar smoker. I tend to think Cuban cigars are the best. Yeah. I like to smoke. Yeah. Throughout the tragic that the cultural inheritance of that today is like guys who think that they should enjoy cigars. Yeah. The entire Republican party. Yeah. Yeah. They're growing friends pretending to perform masculinity and then like going off to coffe and be sick. Yeah. I mean, it's a bummer. They are. I'm not a... I tend to like, I've tried to read a cigar, a fish in out on magazine once and it had too many made up words. They use words and it's not like liquor. You know, number one liquor actually does like, oh, sometimes you get a bourbon and like, oh, this has, this almost tastes more like a coffee or there's like this one sweeter and it's got this like rich body. I mean, like cigars are, are smooth or not, but like, I don't know, I'll read them and they'll be like, oh, and when you, on the, on the retrohail, you get this like taste of orange and juniper and I'm like, no, you fucking don't. There's no juniper in this fucking cigar. What is wrong with you people? Go to hell. I can't. Just go on at the negative. I'm not getting a conception. It's unreal. The most pretentious thing that you can do is be a cigar, a fish in on out. Yeah. Yeah. Unreal. Just smoke. Just kill yourself slowly. It's fine. Anyway, that's kind of cool that Cubans have been making cigars for hundreds and hundreds of years. Now, there were, like as I said, the way that people most often used tobacco in the America is within religious rights. And when I, they're not just like smoking to get that kind of little buzz you get from tobacco, the way in which most of these indigenous groups would have used tobacco was as a psychotropic, right? Like they are basically tripping on this stuff. Oh, wow. Okay. Tobacco can cause hallucinations in high enough doses. It's a powerful mind altering drug when you are taking massive quantities. And they were. Number one, the tobacco they're smoking is different than the tobacco that we cultivate. It's a lot stronger. And the way they're doing it is different. So one of the most common ways that people would take tobacco in a ritual setting is the chief or kind of religious, there's a bunch of different terms for local sort of religious and political leaders and whatnot. But that dude would inhale a bunch of smoke straight up raw from like a burning like hunk of tobacco. And then he would basically shotgun it into the mouths of the people participating in it. Okay. And obviously you're getting a lot of smoke that way. Like you're going to get pretty messed up. Yeah. But, and it's again, you know, it's as silly as this is, probably not all that bad for you when you consider everything people are doing in a thousand a.d. or whatever, right? Like if you have a couple of times a year, you're shot getting some tobacco. That's not going to be what kills you. Yeah. Your life expectancy isn't long enough for that to be the thing that kills you in most cases, right? Like, yeah. Yeah. One of the other thousand things that's going to kill you that we've eliminated now is going to kill you. Yeah. And it's also worth noting that there were a number of health uses of tobacco. It was probably the first effective insect repellent. One of those combinations of it was to just rub it all over your skin because tobacco is coated in an oil like that is bugs don't get kills bugs like they don't like it. Yeah. I mean, obviously there are specific bugs that do feed on tobacco, but for the most part it keeps insects away. So people would rub it on themselves. Or they would also bathe in the smoke before like going in and hunting in the bush and stuff in order to keep bugs off of them. It could work as a tranquilizer. It was used to help put people to sleep. One of the things that I tried for my book was mixing it with urine and garlic in order to create an ametic and like a constipation remedy and it does work for that. I don't recommend following that out, but it does do what it says. It was also. So there were a number of uses for Native Americans of tobacco that absolutely work in a medical context. There were also some that did not. For example, it was often given to people as a treatment for asthma. Tobacco does not help with asthma. Yeah, it's a duty of the opposite of helping in fact. Don't say. I should say. I will say, yeah, that's the thing that went away. It's where that historically separated from people smoking to clear the lungs, right? Exactly. And it's also some of the times when these indigenous people would have been taking tobacco to clear up their asthma. It might not have been smoked as often as it was taken as a tea. And this can also be toxic. People die one of the things like ayahuasca ceremonies are very famous in the West now. One of the things that some groups do in their ceremonies is they proceed the ayahuasca with the tobacco tea. And there's a couple of cases of people dying in ayahuasca ceremonies. Now I don't know if that's because the tea is just always dangerous or because these specific folks that were doing it were kind of like grifters and didn't know what they were doing. Right. We're actually doing it the traditional way. I'm not sure if that information exists properly. But this is another way people would take it as a tea, which don't. Don't take tobacco. It's actually pretty easy to kill yourself by ingesting tobacco. Please don't do that. Yeah. I know every now and again, like a pet will eat a bunch of cigarettes. Yeah. Kill the shit out of you. It's extremely deadly tobacco. But you know, interesting plant. So the Portuguese were the first Europeans to begin cultivating tobacco for export to Europe. In 1564, a royal navy captain brought the leaf to Inglond. And despite early opposition from people who considered a filthy foul drug for foreigners, it took off their like wildfire. I just love that like the immediate British or English response was just like to stop with xenophobia and then move along from their work out. This drug is going to become a picture part of all of our lives. And in Europe and the UK, the story with tobacco is similar to the story with coffee and that a bunch of like weirdo Christians are like, this is a heathen drug. We shouldn't do it. And then some king will like pick up a cigarette or drink some coffee and be like, oh yeah, this should actually pretty dope. You know what? I think we're fine with tobacco. Yeah. Yeah. In coffee's case, it was literally the Pope being like, oh, this stuff rules. You know what? I'm just going to baptize it. Just going to baptize coffee. Now Christians can have it. And then God changed his mind just like that. Yeah. I'm different being. I'm different being. Amazing stuff. Maybe I would give a lot of kudos to the Pope if he just baptized marijuana so that Catholics could sue the federal government for restricting it. Yeah. Just imagining him doing fentanyl like the Pope blesses fentanyl the protect the kids. Fuck he's dropped it in the font and it says this shit's red. Yeah. Two babies are going to have a rough one down with his soul. Fentanyl. Put some fentanyl in the baptismal font. Yeah. I don't want to give them some Narcan there not going to have a good time. Yeah. That's what we call the Narcans because that's not. Narcan. That was a church joke for you. You kids. Anyway, yeah. Yeah. So the English start smoking tobacco. It gets cultivated in the Jamestown settlement in the 17th century. And by the 1730s, the English colonies in the Virginia had tobacco factories that were manufacturing significant quantities of the stuff. Mostly a snuff, which was either inhaled or chewed. That is the predominant way to consume tobacco in the kind of the early period of colonization of the Americas. Was it like a, because you see pictures of them sometimes and they got that they old tiny pipe right there, the long pipe with a little bowl. Yep. And yeah, is that like a class thing? Is that like I can afford to have a pipe in your constituents? Some of its class cigars are generally like more expensive. Snuff is very cheap. The other thing though is that again, not easy to get access to stuff to light a pipe or to light a cigar. So if you're smoking a pipe or a cigar, you're probably in your home, right? So you know, the beginning of the day or the end of the day or maybe in like the midday are for a meal, you could have a smoke. But it's not convenient. You can't just light a pipe when you're out in the field because like you don't just have a thing that's on fire with you at all times, but you can take snuff any time a day. So yeah, it makes it. And it's addictive. Yeah, yeah, extremely. And it's, it's incredibly addictive. So all of the colonizing powers competed for a share of the emerging global tobacco market. And again, it's incredibly addictive. So there's enough interest very quickly to spur rapid innovation in the field. In 1843, a French company, given a monopoly over tobacco by King Louis XIV, starts manufacturing the very first close to modern cigarettes. Now, people had been smoking again, when Columbus went up, they see people like wrapping shit in corn cobs. Those are like for a couple of centuries. That's how you smoke a cigarette. You get a corn cob. Sometimes you get like old paper, like newspaper, like just kind of whatever papery thing you can fill it with tobacco and smoke it, you know? And it's the French and Van Gogh was and it have never changed. Yeah, the French and Van Gogh was, which are still the worst cigarettes on the market. They're still smoking something close to modern cigarettes today. Yeah, that was, those were the most common cigarettes we smoked in Syria. And it was like the gold was that you couldn't sell in France because the tobacco was too low-cran. Yeah. God. What a horrible cigarette. Yeah. Yeah, everywhere I just have a lot of memories of like bike racing in France and having to go in to sign on to these races and like you walk in and you just like, it's like they used to do in nightclubs with the smoke machine, you know, just like the smoke machine. You are also on enough to experience like smoking inside in bars, which isn't a thing anymore. And you go and you come out, you're like, that was good for me. And then you see the guy who is never going to kick your ass in the race or it's after the race and the guy who's just won the race is having a fucking cigarette. And like, I remember being one of the most popular experiences. Yeah. He said he went to the pharmaceutical industry is what he is. Look, kids, if you want to know what it's like to walk around in a world where people smoke indoors constantly and in all places, there's an option, fly to Serbia. No grade will, Bell grade will teach you what the seventies was like. Yeah, I'm always a one. Yeah. In a number of ways you'll learn about the seventies and bell. Great. I'm going to hang in handcuffs. Go to Bell. Oh, man. Oh, the tracksuits there are unreal. I was coming back. That's on the cycle. Again, when we're talking about what actually is like a culturally beautiful use for cigarettes, squatting in a field with your buddies in a tracksuit and smoke. God, it's incredible. Yeah, see him. Culture experience. Burning through a pack of knock off marboros that have two extra ease in them. Yeah. It doesn't have the L. It's just the marble. You know what? You know who else sells discount cigarettes? Is it Sophie? Is that what I saw? Sophie does. She eats Sophie behind the main gym building after lunch or after classes let out. She's always got a couple of extra packs on hand and she'll sell you a Lucy's. What? What grade am I in? What school? Why am I at a school? Normal age. I don't like this association and what? Yeah, she's still going there every day. Well, that's that we don't have. We can't fund our podcast without selling new cigarettes to children. Just to spend whatever I do for some reason also reflects on you. Yeah, we must do to stop. But here we are. I mean, I don't mean Sophie. Let's be honest with ourselves. If I were to get caught selling loose cigarettes to children behind a high school, it would only increase my popularity. It would do nothing. I'm trying to get them off the jewels. Oh my god. Rub it around to anti-vaping action. I've got a Joe Campbell tattoo on my chest. Oh my god. Let's just go to ads. Hopefully, hopefully, it's for gold. Yeah. I'm going to spend his whole episode trying not to say what is a homophobic slur in this country, by the way. Behind the bastards is brought to you by BetterHelp. It would be nice if life came with a user manual, but it just doesn't. So if you can't have a user manual, BetterHelp Online Therapy is basically the next best thing. 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There's a word that we use in Britain for cigarettes and American people use to be horrible to gay people and I'm not going to use it. It's very difficult for me. It doesn't, I mean, I think the slur comes from the harmless term, which also if you read J.R.O. token, you will see that word used constantly in its original meaning. It is a little bit out of one sometime. The people I grew up with, like, certainly when my grandmother lived in rural Devon was very, like people still use the vowel, I think. Yeah, but yeah, that word would be used to describe like a small, it's a type of food right there as a food that uses that word, but also like a small bundle of hay or a bundle of sticks or whatever. Yeah. Any packet of anything. Yeah, you can call it your Amazon word. Yeah, it's, it's, it's anyway, whatever. That's been, that's talking about it a lot of what you would say. It's amazing. So yeah, all, yeah. So in the 14th or Louis XIV gives the first French company, Immunopoly, over tobacco production and they start manufacturing cigarettes, which I'll have to be handled at this point. But this is the first time that like a company is selling people cigarettes. Pretty much the first time that a company is selling like a large company is trying to make cigarettes into like a major business. Prior to this, if you bought cigarettes, most people who smoked cigarettes were like poor people and you would just, you would have a bag of tobacco and you'd wrap it in shit, right? Or, you know, rolling papers even aren't, aren't a thing that you can just go out and get. The other way you would get it is you would go to a tobacconess to have someone roll them and you would buy them. And cigarettes were generally because of this, the least favorite method of tobacco consumption. And we're seen as the thing that like homeless people smoked because the most common way to smoke cigarettes was to like go outside of a place where people with more money had been hanging out like a bar and pick up the cigar butts and like then roll them and do a cigarette. Yeah. Really, really came out that man. That's it. The worst smoke I can imagine. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That is bleak. Yeah. Yeah. But my God, that guy, the only person today who could smoke on the level of a smoker back then would be maybe Rudy Giuliani. You got to give him, he's one of these weirdos and get, so cigars, you don't inhale a cigar unless you're a specific kind of cigar smoker who believes that everyone else is wrong by not inhaling their cigars. I forget what they call themselves, but Rudy is one of them. He's an inhaler. He takes it all in, baby. I think cancer is just repudiate and buy him. It is. It refuses to be running in him. That's going to be bad for the cancer brand, man. Yeah. I don't want to get messed up with Giuliani. So cigarettes start to get popular with Europeans during our right after the Crimean War. When soldiers, you know, who returned, because the Crimean War is a lot of its in areas kind of a budding in around Turkey. And so they encountered Turkish cigarettes and the Turks have been smoking cigarettes and making cigarettes for a bit longer. And they decide they like the Turkish tobacco is good and it's milder than the stuff that they had had access to. In 1856, one veteran of the war opens London's first cigarette factory, which is called Sweet Threes. He has joined a few years later by another English entrepreneur who creates the second major cigarette factory in London. And this guy's name is Philip Morris. Oh, wow. So yeah, that's where that comes from. Yeah, there he is. Yeah. There he is, oh Philip Morris. Yeah. A man with a body count that would rival fucking Hitler. So at this point, all cigarettes are still rolled by hand, most are still sold by small retailers. But then the Civil War happens in the United States. And right after the Civil War, things start to change. And I'm going to quote now from a right up in the Journal of Antiques. Seeing an opportunity in the emerging market for cigarettes, tobacco man, F.S. Kinney began cigarette production in New York City, as well as a factory in Richmond, Virginia, turning out brands with names like full dress, sweet caporal, Kinney's straight cut, and sportsman's caporal, using similar blitz. Kinney's chief competitor in the New York market was Goodwin in company, which sold nationally advertised cigarettes with folksy sounding brand names, such as Old Judge, Canvas Black, and Welcome. Olders became known as the big six of the cigarette industry by the 1870s, as they gained control of 75% of national sales. There were, of course, hundreds of smaller cigarette firms operating out of backroom shops in most major northern cities, but their distribution capabilities were usually very limited. I love Old Sigger at Brand Names. I would smoke Old Judge. I think I'd have been an Old Judge, man. Yeah. Well, I think there was one that was particularly great. I was wearing them called Old Black. No, there's Old Judge Canvas back and welcome back. I thought it was Canvas Black. I thought it would do to the old lungs, but yeah, welcome. I think I just make a welcome cigarette. Smoke a welcome. Yeah, and you get one on your pillow when you go into a hotel room. It's kind of vibe it has. Yeah. It reminds me that Old Bill Hicks bit when he's like, I'm love that they put the warning labels on the cigarettes. Let's me know which ones to avoid. I'm going to buy the lung cancer cigarettes. No birth weights, though. Tobacco obviously is bad for you. It caused problems for people because it's never good for you to smoke, or especially on a regular basis, as people are increasingly doing in this period. But the harms are still minimal and they're pretty much impossible to see on a wide basis, right? Very few people are able to smoke regularly throughout the day for one thing. For another thing, there's not good matches. The ones that people do have matches in this period, but they're phosphorus based and they're incredibly dangerous. It's like carrying a flashbang in your pocket. I've seen no issue with that. I think that's amazing. Yeah, that's a good idea. Yeah, I just want to whip off a rada phosphorus. I guess that's my shirt. Great. It's like white phosphorus. Like, I mean, I don't know if it's white phosphorus, but yeah, I mean, it's like a phosphorus. You grind up a bunch of phosphorus and then you strike it, I think. Amazing. It's emitting someone like falling over and then just going to go into the ice. And of course, your beard oil and hair oil is all alcohol and petroleum based. Your shirt has been washed in pure gasoline. So you just can't immediately on fire. Yeah, yeah. Stinger edge will kill you, but not in the way you're expecting. Yeah, this is the period in which like spontaneous human combustion starts to be a thing. It's because everything is flammable and everything is carrying around fire bombs in their pockets. Yeah. But yeah, again, as much as we joke about it, it's, if you were to tell someone cigarettes are bad, like that's pretty obvious if you're hanging out with someone today who was a smoker because smokers cough, right? And like, you know, you joke about it if you're a smoker like, yeah, you know, it's fucking killing me. Whatever, smoker, cigarette. It's not hard to be like put two and two together like, oh, this is bad for me. It wouldn't have been as obvious back then for one thing. Yeah, smokers cough, but also, you know, who else coughs is people who live in dint cities where the main method of transportation is horses. And so there are, okay, so New York City, the most famous style of houses in New York City, they have these big tall porches, right? That are like four or five or six feet off the ground. Those big porches that New York and other East Coast cities have exist because there would be so much shit in the main streets that when it rained, there would be rivers of feces and rotting carcasses of animals. Rush, and you didn't want it to get near, but like your house. So you could just sit there and watch the turns floating by. If somebody, if people are walking around coughing and looking sick, your first guess doesn't gonna be, it's probably the cigarettes. Yeah, I did it too. A lot of place. He was, what a town. He really was a nightmare to be alive. Yeah. Jesus Christ. I am surprised with the species we made it past then. It's striking, but you don't have to make it very long to produce a bunch of kids and then leave them fatherless. Yeah, that's true. As you float off down the shit. It's just through your cup, corpse in the shit river, and the cycle continues. Yeah. It's just a kind of life. Sigarettes in the 1870s were still a novelty to most smokers, less than 2% of people who smoked used cigarettes. Again, the most common method of tobacco consumption is not even smoking at all, but it was chewing what was called plugged tobacco. And it was into this world and this market, then a man named James Buchanan Duke stepped in the 1880s. Duke had been born on December 23rd, 1856 near Durham, North Carolina, and his father was the owner of a small tobacco company, which was eventually named W. Duke and Son's Company. Or W. Duke's Sonson Company. Duke watched in 1873 as a powerful depression hit the United States and temporarily cigarettes swold in popularity because the urban poor could afford cigarettes, right? So that was, you know, when they started to take off. And he looks at this being an intelligent capitalist. He's like, we're probably going to continue to have horrible economic crashes because it seems like the system is designed to do this every like five to 10 years. So I bet cigarettes have a bright future ahead of them. I can find a way to make them cheaper. Yeah. So I expect them more in times of depression. Is it? They don't have food and they want it to not be hungry. They want it to not be hungry. It's also just like one of the few things you can afford period if you're poor is a cigarette because they're, they're cheap. They're cheaper than food. And a lot of cases, they're certainly the cheapest method of getting tobacco. They're cheaper than drinking. It's just like it's a little comfort that you can have if you're a fucking tramp living on the street on the 1870s because there's, there's not a whole lot of other things for you. The cigarette is there. Yeah. What is it? The working man's friend, isn't it? It is the working man. Look, again, if you're on the street in the 1870s, they have the risks of a cigarette or the least of your concerns. You might get confused by floating to it. Yeah. It's the shit rivers, the main problem you've got to deal with. He's drowning in a river of horse shit. Yeah, I'd be smoking whatever. Yeah, of course. Of course. They invented cracker beyond that too. Yeah. You want to get out of that situation as quickly as possible. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So, absolutely. So, Duke, at this point in time, his brothers and his father were like locked into this vicious competition with Bull Durham tobacco, which was run by a guy named WT Blackwall and was like the big tobacco producer of the day. Duke saw this as a pointless fight because they're fighting over plug tobacco. He knew that the future of the industry was not in plug tobacco. It was in producing something convenient and cheap for urban poor people. In 1882, his company had just 10 cigarette rollers on the line. These are individual people. Cigarettes are made like cigars by random, just like people who know how to do it. The first thing he did was add 50 more rollers, which still put him well behind the Allen and Genter factory up in Richmond, which employed 450 female cigarette rollers. But when a New York City cigarette factory went on strike, Duke convinced 125 of their workers to move down to Durham in 1883, offering to pay their moving expenses and giving them the highest wages in the industry. This was a good deal for these people for a while, but if you know anything about capitalists, you know, Duke has no desire to create well-paying jobs for laborers. These people are a stopgap. He's thinking like Uber here, right? I want to corner the market and then find a way to get the human beings out of it, to replace them with machines. No, he's not saying. He's not saying. He's not working for him. He's not working for him. It works a lot better for cigarettes than it does for Uber. Turns out this is actually a pretty reasonable business plan for cigarettes. Both of them will kill you. It's a self-driving car, it's in a cigarette. Again, self-driving car, it will do it faster. Yeah, the cigarettes will do it a little more ethically though. So, his goal was, again, he wanted to make the most profitable tobacco company in the world. And the way to do that is to rat fuck your laborers. For now though, he needed them. And by 1885, he had about 700 hand rollers in two factories. Most of these are, again, young women. This is reasonably well-paying work for young women. He's got a quality control team that checks the work. So they're trying to put out, like, as uniform a product as possible. But that's not really easy to do. And everyone in the industry making cigarettes knows it's kind of slowly expanding. And they know that we can make these a lot cheaper and a lot more profitable for us if we can replace the human beings with machine rollers. So a couple of companies actually put out a bounty in order to produce a machine roller. And I'm going to quote what comes next from that right up from the Journal of Antiques. A young man named James Bosnack approached Duke with a cigarette-making machine he had invented. The young inventor had previously gone to the now big four companies, but had been turned down because his machine was prone to breakdowns. Plus, there was a belief that consumers would never accept a machine-made cigarette. Duke put top mechanics to work, iring out the bugs in the Bosnack machine, and signed to deal with the inventor. During his first year of production, using his team of imported hand rollers, Duke turned out 9.8 million cigarettes. In contrast, using the Bosnack machines enabled him to produce 744 million cigarettes. 1888. So 1881, 9.8 million cigarettes. He gets the Bosnack machine, 744 million. Jesus. That is significant increase in production right there. It's turning point. That's going to change if he thinks. So he's making a lot of cigarettes now, which is great. He's able to make them half as expensive as they were before, and he's able to like, number one, sell them for cheaper and also make a lot more profit per cigarette. But there's problem, which is that only about 2% of Americans who smoke cigarettes. So the fact that he's making 730 million more cigarettes per year means that he's got a lot of cigarettes he can't sell, because there's just not that many smokers out there. So this is a problem for old Duke, and Duke realizes that like if he's going to make this thing profitable, what he's going to have to do is create demand for cigarettes. He's going to have to convince Americans that they actually want not just to smoke cigarettes but to smoke a shitload of them, because one of the things that becomes clear is like, well, we went from 9.8 million to 744 million for nothing. We could make billions of these a year. This wouldn't be a problem at all. We just need that many smokers to exist. So that's a difficult task, right? Old Duke is going to need to actually like create a hunger for billions of cigarettes in the world in order to make this pay off. And that's exactly what he does next. Great. Yeah. So wonderful world of tobacco marketing. Yes. That's what we're building towards here. So one of the things that happens when Duke starts manufacturing his cigarettes is that suddenly no corporation can afford to sell cigarettes without rolling them on a bond sack machine. It just is so much more efficient. And because Duke had helped fix the bond sack machines, he owns part of the patent effectively. So one of the ways he's making money is that everyone who's making cigarettes is giving money to Duke. He also, one of the things he does that's smart is in order to kind of everyone's worried, okay, our people not going to want to smoke cigarettes that are rolled by machine. Duke starts bragging that his cigarettes are machine rolled. He puts it on the packages as like a way of like just what if we just try to convince people that machine roll is better than hand rolled. Yeah. It's more hygienic. It's more modern, right? Yeah. All of which is technically true. Now, next, I want to quote from a book called The SIGARETS CENTURY by Alan Brandt. By 1884, while his competitors were still hesitating, Duke had installed two bond sack machines in his derro of factory. A year later, after experimenting to improve the machine's performance, Duke signed a secret contract in which he agreed that he would produce all his cigarettes with the bond sack machine. In return, bond sack reduced Duke's royalties to 20 cents per thousand. Duke and bond sack soon reached a further agreement, guaranteeing Duke a 25% discount on royalties against all other manufacturers. Also, Duke shrewdly hired one of bond sack's disgruntled mechanics, William Thomas O'Brien to operate his machines, assuring fewer breakdowns than his competition. By June 1886, O'Brien was meticulously maintaining 10 machines. Duke placed a heavy emphasis on efficiency and continuous production. The lessons he learned in developing the mass production of cigarettes, he would soon apply more broadly to industrial organization. By becoming Bondzac's premier customer, Duke secured essential control over its technology and turned Bondzac's patent into a powerful competitive advantage. It was increasingly common for inventors to relinquish their patents to corporations. Duke understood the control of the bond sack patent, through his secret discounted licensing agreement, was a critical lever in dominating the cigarette trade. His deal with bond sack reflected an important change in the character of the patent system, from a legal mechanism protecting independent inventors to one that would protect large and powerful corporations. Duke is what he's done here is invent the modern usage of patents, like corporations for corporate advantage. Every business leader who follows in any kind of industry is going to copy him. Yeah, man, that might be one of the things that's killed more people than cigarettes. Right? Yeah, because a lot of medical patents and stuff works on the same fucking idea, you know? Yeah, nearly every drug is patented. And of course, he's not trying to do anything evil with it. He just wants everyone to smoke cigarettes. Perfectly, perfectly. More like I've complicated. I would actually, we talked about it on the episode of It Could Happen Here on Monday, but UCLA is pursuing an IP case in India about a prostate cancer drug called Extanti, which they're trying to stop a generic production, a cheaper generic production of them. Just imagining the old handshake mean between UCLA and Duke giving people cancer is the thing that they're coming together on. That's beautiful. So the Bonsack machine quickly replaced human rollers who left the cigarette industry to roll cigars, which is the only form of tobacco that's going to prove immune to the corporate age that Duke is ushering in. Through the 1880s and 1890s, cigarette smoking increased and the size of a pack doubled from 10 to 20, taking advantage of how easy it was to smoke now. The first proper matchbooks invented in the early 20th century helped spur adoption, but by 1900s still, less than 2% of tobacco consumers are smoking cigarettes. Now Duke knows that his dream of selling cigarettes to the world is not going to work if he can't convince Americans that they wanted to smoke and that they wanted to smoke as a habit. So he set out to do something no one had ever really done before, which was create a market for a product using advertising. Merchant since time immoral had advertised their wares and attempted to set themselves apart from the competition. But what Duke is doing is new. Duke is trying to convince people they want to do something they haven't done. That's not really been a thing in capitalism up to this point. It's one thing to be like, hey, I'm Samuel Colt. I've invented a better handgun. If you want a handgun, you want a handgun. My job with my marketing is to convince you mine's the best, right? But you're not convincing people, well, now I need a gun, right? They decide they need a gun because it's the fucking 1880s or whatever. Duke is like, people are fine without cigarettes. This isn't a problem. There's not a need that I'm trying to serve here. I have to create it. And one of the first ways he's going to do this is really quite innovative. And it ends in a surprising place. So in the late 1880s, French tradesmen had set to making stiff colorful cards to advertise their businesses. These cards often featured illustrations of women, generally wearing very little clothing, or sports heroes, or like historical landmarks, to make them collectible and thus give individual people a reason to keep a business card in their possession. Now we don't know where Duke first heard about this phenomenon. But starting in the 1880s, he had a print shop installed in his Durham factory that could make color prints. At first he printed out the standard advertisements and coupons that most businessmen used. But soon he hit upon an idea. And I'm going to quote from Duke University here. With each pack of cigarettes, a small cardboard insert was added to stiffen the box. Duke employed a little imagination and turned these simple workhorses into a powerful marketing tool by printing the brand name of the cigarettes along with a picture that was part of a larger series in which was meant to be collected. Series of birds, flags, civil war generals, and baseball players were employed, frequently with historical or educational information on them. Photographs of actresses, women placed in a variety of poses, and often were rather revealing costumes for the time, were also used on the insert cards and exceeded all expectations and their popularity on the public. So a lot of these trading cards, and these are the first trading cards, are outright pornographic, at least by 19th century standards, and there are outcries against the practice because the people who want them the most are young boys, are kids, right? Kids start smoking to collect trading cards. That's what juvenile, how juvenile smoking starts in the United States. Great. They want to collect baseball cards and to do so they have to buy packs of cigarettes. And this works like gang, it increases cigarette sales massively. It's a really successful ad campaign. But it also leads to a wave of young cigarette addicts who are also getting into porn, which is difficult for people to accept busy bodies of the day to accept. One of those busy bodies included Duke's father who wrote this letter to his son in 1894. My dear son, I have received the enclosed letter from the Reverend John C. Hockett, and I'm much impressed with the wisdom of his argument against circulating lascivious photographs with cigarettes, and have made up my mind to bring the matter to your attention and the interest of morality, and in the hope that you can invent a proper substitute for these pictures, which will answer your requirements as an advertisement as well as an inducement to purchase. His views are so thoroughly and plainly stated that I do not know how I can add anything, except to state that they are called with my own, and that I have always looked upon the distribution of this character of advertisement as wrong in its pernicious effects upon young men and womenhood, and therefore has not jingled with my religious impulses. Outside of the fact that we owe Christianity all the assistance we can lend it to any form, which is paramount to any other consideration, I am fully convinced that this mode of advertising will be used and greatly strengthened. The arguments against will be used and will greatly strengthen the arguments against cigarettes and the legislative halls of the states. I hope you will consider this carefully and appreciate my side of the question. It would please me very much to know that a change has been made. Duke does not make a change. He is fine with it. So Duke is obviously not going to turn his back on all of this money because of simple morality. Instead, he publishes advertising that encourages kids to complete sets of trading cards, and he expands his advertising budget to keep a steady stream of new collectibles going out with his cigarettes. It was a stunning success. And as Alan Brandt notes, quote, this commodity-connected collecting was a lasting innovation that continues today with baseball cards and Pokémon. Duke had discovered important incentives for smoking in the cultural rituals of youth. We owe Pokémon to cigarettes. Amazing. It's incredible. Yeah. Well, I'm just imagining buying a pack of mulberries to see if I can score a shiny charm alien or something. Honestly, what about our culture wouldn't be better if in order to get a magic-thegathering deck you had to smoke the re-entire cartons of Paul Maus? Absolutely. I love that it's just like the happy man of cigarettes. It's great. It's perfect. I just imagine like some nerdy 16-year-old like lying on his side like puking as he smokes his 50th cigarette of the day. I need a lightning bolt card. Try and bolt off his Pikachu. Yeah. Good dyes of smoking inhalation trying to get a bulb of sore. I choose your lung cancer. Now, you know what else will give you lung cancer, James? It is cigarettes that are very likely to cause cancer. But, you know, that's the way it works. Okay. I'm going to say lung-surfing. Behind the bastards is brought to you by BetterHelp. It would be nice if life came with a user manual, but it just doesn't. 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We have in this America that I love. How are you all? Sophie? Wow. It's been a while. I'm just thoroughly disappointed in your actions. What else is new? Well, Sophie, you know what I'm not disappointed by is the innovative thought leaders in Big Tobacco, building the modern world and inventing Pokemon. So Duke understood instinctively that children were the future of cigarettes. Established tobacco consumers had already had their preferences like set for plug tobacco or snuff or for pipe tobacco or cigars. And these methods involved less consumption or at least pickier consumers. Sigarette smoked quickly and more conveniently than other tobacco products and they caused less mess. They were also more addictive, which allowed for a quick and repeatable high any time. Again, most people were chewing tobacco prior to this. So if people start smoking instead of chewing, suddenly you don't have buckets of spit all over the place. Again, probably a net positive. Now that said, you also have like more people smoking in public places, which is a negative. But anyway, the New York Times publishes an article at the time that complains about Duke's attempt to entice boys to excessive cigarette smoking. And notes, every possible device has been employed to interest the juvenile mind. Notably the lithograph album. Worcesters seeking these picture books, a climate for the reward of self-inflicted injury. Many a boy under 12 years is striving for the entire collection, which necessitates the consumption of nearly 12,000 cigarettes. Oh, no. You're like trying to collect these picture books and smoking 12,000 cigarettes. That is how you catch a mole. Oh, that is a rough, amused cigarette. That is an upsetting amount of cigarettes. Yeah, that's a loan of cigarettes. Wow. Yeah, that is an outrageous quantity of cigarettes. Duke can just hit upon a baller way to move cigarettes. He'd effectively invented the concept of collectible products as advertisements. He starts doing like sweepstakes, right, where you collect different things that are on the boxes to turn them in to see if you can win like a prize. And it's, yeah, he also just like gives stuff. So basically everything from McDonald's happy meals and like funcopops to every product, sweepstakes you've ever seen are all descendants of what Duke is inventing in this period, which is just like different ways to get cigarettes in kids' mouths. We like all the entire toolbox of capitalism is being created and it's being created to push cigarettes to children. Duke changed his company's name to American tobacco, which reflected his ambition to be the alpha and omega of tobacco sales and production in the United States. He poured unheard of amounts of money into his ad budget, soon spending nearly a quarter of the money he made on sales on ads. His competitors were forced to pour similar amounts of cash into their own efforts, igniting the first national billboard war and leading to a massive surge in the amount of visual advertising in the United States. This is what starts to fill the country side up with ads, with like billboards and other kinds of big public ads is Duke spending all this money on cigarette ads. Well, so he inadvertently also gave us the monkey range gang. Yeah, so he has, in the space of what we've talked about so far, given us like modern patent law and all of the people that get killed as a result of medical device patents. He's given us trading cards, he's given us like sweepstakes and like toy collecting and he's given us fucking billboards and the monkey range gang. So that's a lot for one guy. Yeah, so making real makes back. Now one of the things that this does, he's made it impossible very close to impossible for new companies to get into the cigarette business. Number one, you have to be able to buy a cigarette machine to be profitable and that costs money. Number two, you have to have a shitload of cash to make ads. So just like some young upstart who wants to sell cigarettes to people isn't going to be able to get into the business unless they're backed by some serious money dentress because it's just too expensive to get into it. From the late 1880s, Duke sent out regular feelers to his competitors, asking if they'd be open to a buyout. Most of them turned him down, but as the 1800s drew to a close, the fortunes of Duke and his competitors, the fortunes that Duke and his competitors were throwing into ads had them all looking for a better way. They're just spending too much damn money competing with each other. In January of 1890, Duke strong armed his fellow tobacco lords to join a consortium, the American tobacco company, which would seek to monopolize not just tobacco sold in the United States, but produced as well. Overnight, the American tobacco company was responsible for 90% of all cigarette sales in the United States. Duke had formed a monopoly, getting his competitors to agree to fix prices and wages in order to save money on advertising and production and to avoid the struggles for dominance that had devoured their money in recent years. This was a winning strategy, and as Duke took total control over the tobacco market, prices fell for consumers. But this also meant a lot less money for farmers, and the trust brought an end to competitive bidding for tobacco harvests. As Alan Brandt makes clear, in a single-minded quest to control the future of tobacco, Duke helped invent the modern concept of a mega corporation, blazing a trail that would be followed by every ambitious capitalist to come. But together, these three departments, audit, which oversaw accounting and cost control, leaf and retail markets, assured the movement of cured tobacco from warehouse to factory to sales. Individuals with specific expertise headed each department. The audit department, for example, introduced innovative accounting procedures that would later be utilized by many other industries. The success of Duke's enterprise, which became a model for other industries, rested on salaried executives who could assure the efficient functioning of their aspect of the business, as well as tight coordination with other departments and activities. In short, he invented the middle manager. Just another wonderful contribution to society. He's really just humming along here, creating the modern world. He's ticking the mouth. Now one of the things that, you know, when you invent the middle manager, one of the things that you've done is you've created the concept that's going to make up most of the ranks of the emerging middle class, right? What are a lot of people in the middle class? They're fucking middle managers, right? Which is also a lot of the people who are going to be tobacco consumers, right? He's helping to create the basis of consumer culture here as he builds effectively, helps to build the idea of a kind of new class structure in a lot of ways. Obviously like middle management had existed before, but not in the kind of quantity that it had, because prior to Duke, you've got a lot of tobacco being made and sold, and you've got a different sort of tobacco companies, middle managers, but the companies are all much smaller. It's like this company, we handle production. This company, like we handle, like we get the tobacco from the farmers when we process it. You know, we're the people who roll it and sell it directly to the consumers. He's rolling all of this into one giant venture, and instead of the constituent parts being made up of small business owners, the constituent parts are managed by middle managers who are operating like rungs inside of this larger corporate structure. That's not, he's not the first guy to do this, but he's the first guy to do this and be this successful with it. Yeah, yeah, it's as I can vertically integrated supply chain, right? Exactly, exactly. So that's pretty cool. Everywhere he cut out independent manufacturers and free agents, small resaylers and rollers. The entire tobacco market went from an artisanal industry with strong unions to a vast factory for the production of identical machine-rolled cigarettes. The only piece of the tobacco business that successfully resisted and that maintained its high level of unionization were cigars, which for whatever reason are kind of immune to modernity. Yeah, seemingly. I've just realized that these guys like Jeff Bezos. Like he is. He's the basis of cigarettes. Yeah, yeah. Jeff Bezos, I'm sure, would love to be the basis of cigarettes along with being the basis, almost everything else. It's a great thing to be the Bezos of. So kudos to cigars for being. Yeah, respect. Yeah, respect to the cigar industry for fighting back against this. But obviously Duke barely notices that like he's losing out on this chunk of the business. He tells his board that quote, the world is now our market for our product. In 1902, he sets upon the goal of getting the world to start adopting cigarettes. He signs a deal with his largest foreign rival, the UK's Imperial tobacco. And they formed the British American Tobacco Corporation. And of course, it's when the British ones called. Yes. And they do a, they're doing a tobacco imperialism, right? They're going out with a goal of convincing people, nations who had never smoked to smoke now. And Jordan Goodman, the author of tobacco and history notes, to him every cigarette was the same. All of the globalization that we are now familiar with through McDonald's and Starbucks, all of that was preceded by Duke and the cigarette. So not only is he getting people hooked on cigarettes, he's getting them hooked on the idea of this is a product that comes under a specific brand and everyone in the world consumes the same product the same way, right? That, you know, you may, you may be, if you're a cigarette smoker in Turkey in the early 1800s and a cigarette smoker in France, a cigarette smoker in the United States, you are smoking something that was rolled down the street from you at a shop, right? And probably tobacco that was grown fairly close to you. There's a little bit of movement around that around the world. But generally speaking, you're consuming a local product because everything is pretty local. He has invented the idea that no, no, no, if you're going to be into cigarettes, you're going to smoke this specific kind of cigarette and everyone on earth does it the same way. Well, yeah, yeah, that's crazy. He's like, yeah, he's now more or less invented like the global commodity, right? Yeah, yeah. This is like, it's one of the very first. Yeah. And probably the, I think the first that's like an individual consumer good, right? Because this is starting to happen with like steel and with fuel and stuff, right? But you as an individual are like going down to the store to pick up, you know, some fucking petroleum or some coal generally, but you're going to go down and get a cigarette that's made by the British American company every day, whether you live in fucking Tokyo or or or Timbuktu. It hasn't spread quite that far yet, but that this is what's going to happen, right? By 1904, cigarettes had finally cracked 5% of the American market for tobacco products. That seems small, but that means it's more than doubled in a couple of years. Duke saw them as the smart, smart product to push, but he'd spent several years cornering the markets on plug and pipe tobacco too. So they're selling everything. It's also worth noting that like Duke is a cigar man himself. He does not understand why people like cigarettes. He does not like cigarettes. He just is betting that they're going to be a big deal, right? Perfect. So before he can kind of take this idea further though, the United States Congress starts looking into his tobacco trust, which is what he's made with American tobacco. He's formed a monopoly and they decide it's in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which had also been created in 1890. Now it took the government a while to actually get to American tobacco and by the time it starts looking into things, American tobacco controls, not just 90% of the cigarette trade, but 75 to 85% of all tobacco sold in the United States. Duke had even recently started buying up companies who were producing licorice paste to make sweeter flavored cigarettes. So he's again a fucking trailblazer. Yeah. Yeah, no crazy trail in the great direction necessarily. Maybe not in the best direction, but you can't deny the man knows what he's doing. Yeah, this is a dude who loves to make how rich was this guy? No, I mean, it doesn't, because if you actually translate it, it's just going to wind up being in the tens of millions, which makes it like effectively he is a billionaire in his life, right? Right. Like for everything that matters, you know? Yeah. He has infinity dollars. Yeah. You do have to think of how different would the world be if we'd just given him Twitter and he could have done an Elon Musk and stole the war in Ukraine instead of inventing new ways to give kids cancer. This new cigarette's going to work as a boat briefly. So this puts Duke about 20 years ahead of the invention of the first menthol cigarettes. And we're not going to talk a lot about this, but I have to let you know that menthol cigarettes are invented by a man named Lloyd Spud Hughes. Great. Very funny, very funny name. So Duke is like a generation ahead of the competition, but that's not enough to protect him from the Department of Justice. Which, and this is weird, used to actually punish corporations for monopolistic behavior. This was the thing you could get in trouble for back then. Yeah. Yeah. Robert coming out and supporting the DOJ. Yeah. Did it basically? Well, they don't do a good job of this. So I'm not supportive, but it is more than they try to do today. Sure. I'm more familiar with the not doing a good job part. Yeah. So during this period, the DOJ is going after the three largest businesses in the United States from monopolistic behavior and the three largest businesses in the United States are standard oil, US steel and American tobacco. So to understand the scale of this, the thing that he has built is as big as the oil and gas industry. Yeah. Right? Like it's the steel industry. It's in that ballpark. It's wild. Yeah. Impressively not great. Yeah. Teddy Roosevelt, the trust buster forces the DOJ to go after Duke. The bus to buster. Yeah. That's what he's doing. He's busting trust. He's busting some trust. There's a lot of funny coming out of your mouth. There's a lot of things that we have to dislike Teddy Roosevelt for. But one thing the man legitimately hated was monopolists. And he goes after them. There are some things he hates. There were a lot of more problematic things than Teddy Roosevelt hated. But in this case, he's broadly speaking, doing the right thing. And the DOJ is like, yeah, you've made him an op-elate. This is not legal. And you have to dismantle American tobacco. Now this is impossible because Duke has vertically integrated it to such a degree that everyone is reliant upon the same supply and distribution change. You can't actually split the companies back up the way they'd been 15 years before. So the DOJ, not wanting to destroy one of the three largest businesses in the US, exempts a bunch of their sub-businesses and their international partnerships and allows them to maintain certain supply chains and whatnot. Right. And obviously, while this is going on American tobacco appeals, the Supreme Court rules against them in 1911. And eventually, they do split the trust up into five companies that are technically independent competing businesses. But as the cigarette century makes clear, after all that Duke had done to weave the companies together, they can't actually be cut apart. Quote, the settlement was meant to assure competition among the five newly constituted companies. Each received factories, distribution and storage facilities, and name brands. But given the size and complexity of the business, they're existed in super-able obstacles to the creation of perfect competitive conditions. No matter how the industry was restructured, there simply was no going back. So Duke continues to run this chunk of American tobacco. It remains in his control. British American tobacco is what remains in his control. And his fellow owners, even though they're all competing, continue to collude to fixed prices in order to maximize profits. So it's not as bad, but they've gone from a monopoly to an oligopoly, right? That's what the DOJ succeeds in actually doing. Great job, GJ. And since he's kind of peaked as a cigarette man, Duke moves over to the power industry. He establishes a power company that provides, yeah. His company builds the electrical grid for North and South Carolina. Can he not just stop? No, he cannot. He cannot. He can't. He can't. He does when he gets old and is about to die. He gives most of his fortune, tens of millions of dollars to Trinity College in Durham, which is renamed Duke University in his honor. And that's where we get Duke University. Yeah. They're coming. Great. And then they have a good public health school now. Yes. Yeah. Well, they, honestly, a lot of the best information about the cigarette industry and all of the fucked up shit it did comes from Duke University. They have great resources for understanding tobacco and processing. Yeah. So I mean, to the university's credit, they don't like shy away from the, but also what look, Duke is immoral because he's a capitalist and he is profiting off of people surplus labor in a number of ways that are identical. There's nothing wrong with him selling cigarettes at this point because he has no, he dies in 1925. There is no, nothing that even approaches a medical consensus about cigarettes and cancer at this point. And he can't do blame it on him. Right. He's doing horrific shit to the people who work for him. I'm sure. Absolutely. Like destroying unions and whatnot and there's like a bunch that's unethical. But the fact that he's selling cigarettes is not something that I would put on his soul because you know, there's no way for him to have known that they were harmful, you know? Yeah. In 1919, a US surgical student named Alton Oshner was called along with several of his peers to observe the autopsy of a lung cancer victim. His teacher was excited to have an example of the rare illness in their operating theater. He went in Alton and his fellow students to see the autopsy because he believed they would not get a second chance to do so. You never got to see another lung cancer. Nobody gets this shit. Less than the 30 years later, lung cancer would be the number one cause of death in the United States. As Robert Proctor of Stanford University told one interviewer, the cigarette is the deadliest artifact in the history of human civilization. It killed about a hundred million people in the 20th century. Jesus Christ. Come here. He's probably lowballing it. Yeah. And then it's before you look at, yeah, I go this sort of downstream. Thanks. Jesus Christ. That is quite a dead old. We can look at university. We can argue about fascism and communism and the things that the great leap forward in the single is what killed the most people. But man, nobody's, nobody's touching the cigarettes numbers. Right? Yeah. The cigarette out here dropping three pointers every shot. It's the goat of killing people. I'm eagerly awaiting Michael Tracy to like go recuperate the cigarettes reputation on Twitter or something. Yeah. Ah, so James, you got anything you want to plug before we roll out a part one? I do another podcast which you do sometimes or it could happen here. I do listen to it. It's about how things are falling apart and people are putting them back together. It's a good podcast. It is a good podcast. I would say it's one of the only two podcasts that should be legal. Yeah. Fair enough. It's we're doing basically what he did with cigarettes, but two podcasts and it very slowly way with stealing all the microphones. God. And giving everyone cancer. I mean, hopefully going to kill 100 million people in the course of the century. It's on the beach and it's on the beach. It's on the beach. That's not the vision point. Yeah. And see, you've glad your goals. Yeah. Do we do have a live show if you survive that long? Oh, shit. Yeah. Yeah. It's our 26th, right? It's our 26th of October. Yeah. That's right. That's exciting. Everything. So check that shit out, motherfucker, buy tickets to the live show and look, I'm not going to tell you you should smoke cigarettes, but have you ever tried the flavorful taste of a camel? It's like driving through the desert in early November. You know, when you've just got that pure dry coal in the 20th century, just taking it in a Marbaro red. Oh, God. The flavor country. That's what people are missing today. Sophie, do you know how few jinsiers have been to flavor country? That's their heritage, Sophie. That's their heritage. All right. This is not cash money. Pick up some cigarettes, kids. They very much has cash money. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone Media. For more from Cool Zone Media, visit our website, or check us out on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Hi, I'm a fear of Eisenberg. I'm a comedian and a parent of the absurdity of telling jokes late at night and then waking up early. I have a small child in the morning. I have a new podcast called Parenting is a joke. I'll talk to other funny people who are also parents. Will we be laughing? Will we be crying? Find out by listening to Parenting is a joke on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. One in four Americans have reported being victims of crime. But what happens when we survive? That's what we explore in the podcast, Survivors Heal. I invite you all to listen in as we discuss the healing side of true crime and what I call the new Survivors Movement. It's a movement that centers healing and speaks truth to power. Listen to Survivors Heal, available on my I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. America's entering a period of extreme chaos and I think it is time to start asking which should America begin again? The United States is more divided than ever, which has led a group of activists in California to make a radical proposal to leave. I'm Shutezka, and this is The Last Resort, a new podcast about CalXIT. Listen to The Last Resort on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts.