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“Once again, like opium, foul-tasting drugs were often mixed with honey in order to make them a bit more palatable. Wormwood wine must have been quite harsh on the palate, but this never stopped the ancient world from drinking it.”

The Chemical Muse: Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization by D.C.A. Hillman, Ph.D. (Thomas Dunne Books, $24.95; available July 24)

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