Item No: #362887 Pourquoi les hommes usent-ils de stupéfiants? [Why do people stupefy themselves?]. Leo Tolstoy, Leon Tolstoï.
Pourquoi les hommes usent-ils de stupéfiants? [Why do people stupefy themselves?]
Pourquoi les hommes usent-ils de stupéfiants? [Why do people stupefy themselves?]

Rare Tolstoy Pamphlet on Drugs and Alcohol

Pourquoi les hommes usent-ils de stupéfiants? [Why do people stupefy themselves?]

Notes: The first separate edition, in French translation by Michel Peter, of Tolstoy's polemical inquiry into why people use alcohol and drugs. The essay begins:

"What is this demand for stupefying things—vodka, wine, beer, hashish, opium, tobacco, and others less universally used; ether, morphine, mukhumor? Why did it begin and so quickly spread, and why does it still spread among all classes of men, savage and civilized alike? What does it mean that everywhere, if there is not vodka, wine, and beer, there you find opium of hashish, mukhumor, and other things, and tobacco everywhere?" (from the translation published in the New England Review in 1998).

This essay reportedly first appeared as the foreword to a book by P. S. Alexeyeff called "On Drunkenness." This information comes from a footnote in the present edition and it has been widely repeated, although your cataloguer has not been able to identify the book in question.

This pamphlet bears no publication date; inside it confusingly dates the original to 1896 at the front and 1890 at the back. The publication date of this French translation is probably 1904 as it appears in the Bibliographie de la France for that year.

16 pages. OCLC records a single copy, in France.

Edition + Condition: First separate edition. A very good copy in the original printed wrappers. The covers were split at the spine and repaired and the pamphlet resewn.

Publication: Paris: Bureaux des Annales Antialcooliques, [n.d. but 1904].

Item No: #362887

Price: $750