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Coca Wine


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Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION The Vogue Beverage of la Belle Epoque

A Brief History of Coca
From Pre-Columbian Times to Spanish Chroniclers to Sigmund Freud

Angelo Mariani, Father of Coca Wine
The Beginnings of Vin Mariani, Which Would Become the Most Popular Prescribed Medicine in the World

Mariani's Laboratory and Its Coca-Based Products
Success, Innovation, and Expansion

The Medicinal Virtues of Vin Mariani
The Story of Coca in the United States and France

The Father of Modern Advertising
From the Albums Mariani to Patronage of the Arts

The Host of All Hosts
From the Restaurant Ledoyen to the Villa at Valescure

The Time of Ordeals: The Imitators
From Vin des Incas to Coca-Cola

From Prescription to Prohibition
The Rise of Addiction, Anti-cocaine Laws in the United States and France, and the Last Years of Mariani's Company

Coca Today
Toward a Revival--the Bolivian Case

Notable Praise for Mariani and His Work
Supplementary Testimonials

Chronology of Coca


Bibliography of Published Works by and about Angelo Mariani


About the Author

Aymon de Lestrange has degrees in literature and history. He served as an Information Officer at the United Nations Information Center and Cultural Attache at the French Embassy in Lima, Peru. A bibliophile, publisher, and collector, he is well-known for his important collection of drug-related items, including the most comprehensive collection on Angelo Mariani and coca items in the world. He lives in Paris, France.


"A long-overdue, lavishly illustrated historical tribute to Vin Mariani, the coca-infused wine invented by Angelo Mariani in the late 19th century. It was once one of the world's best-known and best-advertised products, endorsed by popes, queens, presidents, actresses, singers, and just about anyone who was anyone. Yes, it contained a small amount of cocaine, but it was only when that drug was isolated as a concentrated white powder that it derived its evil reputation. In the meantime, it inspired (indirectly) Coca-Cola, which unfortunately added a great deal of sugar, though it still contained decocainized coca leaf extract." * Mark Pendergrast, author of For God, Country, and Coca-Cola *
"Historians have long noted the role of Angelo Mariani's pioneering 19th-century beverage, Vin Mariani, in the history of coca and cocaine but yearned for a well-researched biography. This is finally it! Aymon de Lestrange's exhaustive reach and the many beautiful and lavish illustrations--many new discoveries--are alone a treasure. The chapter on Mariani's laboratory and its fascinating products is a rich contribution to knowledge. And Coca Wine is so timely: as failing drug prohibitions come into doubt across the globe, we need to know more about the positive cultural roles played by benign coca health products like Vin Mariani, which, like absinthe, may one day soon revive!" * Paul Gootenberg, author of Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug *
"Aficionados of the divine plant of the Incas in both its natural (coca) and synthetic (cocaine) forms will be fascinated to learn this time-honored (if sometimes reviled) intoxicant was once marketed as a tonic beverage--a fine Bordeaux with a kick--that made the cultured classes across Western Europe and the U.S. acclaim the superiority of Mariani's Coca Wine for both its medicinal and inspirational qualities and unleash a host of competitors, including one enterprising American druggist in Atlanta. Aymon de Lestrange has written the definitive study of this all-but-forgotten recreational beverage, enhanced by exquisite color reproductions of the work of the artists and designers for whom the wine inspired a style that stimulates our senses as much today as it did for our ancestors." * Michael Horowitz, cofounder of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library *
"Impressively informed and informative, beautifully illustrated throughout, notably comprehensive, exceptionally well written, organized and presented for both academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, Coca Wine: Angelo Mariani's Miraculous Elixir and the Birth of Modern Advertising is a unique, extraordinary, and highly recommended addition to community, college, and university library collections." * Midwest Book Review, Clint Travis *
"Coca Wine is beautifully designed with color images throughout, including advertisements, product packaging, period art, and portraits. The story is engrossing enough for the general reader and an easy read, but meticulously documented for the scholar. It is an important contribution to the histories of advertising, food and beverages, and drugs, and serves as an in-depth complement to Mark Pendergrast's For God, Country and Coca-Cola (CH, Oct'93, 31-1032) and Paul Gootenberg's Cocaine: Global Histories (Routledge, 1999). Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers." * J. M. Deutsch, Drexel University, CHOICE *
"With considerable evidence, Lestrange argues that Mariani's enterprise was of singular importance in facilitating the entrance of Andean coca into European and North American consumer culture and into the stream of global commerce. Though unabashedly iconographic, inclined toward a "great man" account of history, and lean on analysis, Lestrange's biography of Mariani is engaging and full of original, often surprising new research that includes a rich array of visual sources...specialists will find much of interest in Lestrange's research into a critical conjuncture in the evolution of global coca cultures. Non-specialists will enjoy the author's absorbing and colorful exposition of a fascinating subject." * Andrew B. Ehrinpeis, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, July-December 2019 *
"This is a very informative and easy to read book. It provides a history of coca, cocaine, product advertising and the man who produced what was to become, in its time, the world's most famous medicine. The lavish illustrations are of a very high quality, and there is hardly a page that does not possess one. This is a book for all those with an interest in the history of pharmacy." * Peter G. Homan, Pharmaceutical Historian *
"Written for a broad audience, Lestrange's work provides a fascinating foray into belle-epoque coca culture as part of a larger cultural field. While scholars would do well to turn to some of Lestrange's secondary sources (David Smith, Elizabeth Emery) for more theoretically grounded discussions of vin Mariani's place in belle-epoque France and turn-of-the-century United States, Coca Wine provides a richly documented and evocative case study that cultural historians will find useful." * John Westbrook, Bucknell University, Journal of Contemporary French Civilization *

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