Global Anti-Vice Activism, 1880-1950: Fighting Drinks, Drugs, and ‘Immorality’, ed. Jessica R. Pilley, Robert Kramm, and Harald Fisher-Tiné (Cambridge UP, 2016).

Vice was one of the primary shared interests of the global community at the turn of the twentieth century. Anti-vice activists worked to combat noxious substances such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, and ‘immoral’ sexual activities such as prostitution. Nearly all of these activists approached the issue of vice by expressing worries about the body, its physical health, and functionality. By situating anti-vice politics in their broader historical contexts, Global Anti-Vice Activism, 1890–1950 sheds fresh light on the initiatives of various actors, organizations and institutions which have previously been treated primarily within national and regional boundaries. Looking at anti-vice policy from both social and cultural historical perspectives, it illuminates the centrality of regulating vice in imperial and national modernization projects. The contributors argue that vice and vice regulation constitute an ideal topic for global history, because they bridge the gap between discourse and practice, and state and civil society.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction Jessica R. Pliley, Robert Kramm-Masaoka and Harald Fischer-Tiné
    Part I. Health and the Body:
    2. Modernity, vice and the problem of nakedness Philippa Levine
    3. ‘Godless Edens’ – surveillance, eroticized anarchy and ‘depraved communities’ in Britain and the wider world, 1890–1930 Antony Taylor
    4. Physical culture as ‘natural cure’ – Eugen Sandow’s global campaign against the diseases and vices of civilization c.1890–1920 Carey A. Watt
    Part II. Drinks and Drugs:
    5. The specter of degeneration – alcohol and race in West Africa in the early twentieth century Charles Ambler
    6. A question of social medicine or racial hygiene? Temperance discourse in Bulgaria, 1920–40 Nikolay Kamaenov
    7. Threats to Empire – illicit distillation, venereal diseases and colonial disorder in British West Africa, 1930–48 Emmanuel Akyeampong
    8. Medical and criminological constructions of drug addiction in late Imperial and early Soviet Russia Pavel Vasilyev
    9. Cigarette smoking in modern Buenos Aires – the sudden change in a century-old continuity Diego Arms
    Part III. Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
    10. The FBI’s white slave division – the creation of a national regulatory regime to police prostitutes in the United States, 1910–18 Jessica R. Pliley
    11. Anti-vice lives: peopling the archives of prostitution in interwar India Stephen Legg
    12. China’s prostitution regulation system in an international context, 1900–37 Elizabeth Remick
    13. ‘Hey, GI, want pretty flower girl?’ – venereal disease, sanitation, and geopolitics in US-occupied Japan and Korea, 1945–8 Robert Kramm-Masaoka
    14. Afterword David Courtwright.