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The Sunday Long Read Classic: The Great Banana-Smoking Hoax of 1967 by Brooke Kroeger and Cary Abrams (2012), September 30, 2023

September 30, 2023

Read this on the site of Sunday Long Reads as the “Classic Read” (scroll down) of its newsletter of September 30, 2023.


   Anatomy of the Great Banana-Smoking Hoax of 1967 (2012)

By Brooke Kroeger and Cary Abrams for The Local East Village

 (~10 minutes)

Surely you aren’t old enough to remember the banana-smoking moral panic of 1967—but even so you’ll profit from its historical dissection by my friend Brooke Kroeger and co-author Cary Abrams. Unfounded rumors that banana peels were psychoactive zigged through the 60s from the underground press to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to the Congressional Record and chemist bench causing cultural mayhem. Disclosure: My high school buddies wrongly believed they were getting off on banana peels. Talk about the placebo effect! (This link is from the Internet Achieve, so please be patient as it and all of its graphics and inserts download.)

Classic Bonuses: Don’t forget to buy a copy of Kroeger’s new book, Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism. What the heck was The Local East Village? Read all about it here. It folded in 2013.

Jack Shafer writes about media for Politico.