Drew Swanson: The part of the story of cigarettes that we often hear is all about James B. Duke and the monopolistic power of the American Tobacco Company. Can you tell listeners how we’ve gotten that story wrong?
Nan Enstad: My project went from a story about the culture of smoking to a cultural analysis of the corporation. I became convinced that we have only begun to question how neoclassical economics has shaped the way that we tell stories about political economy and empire. A lot of the hype about the power of Duke that has been ensconced in history came from boosters and biographers and business historians, some of whom were being paid by the tobacco companies. So there’s an inflated sense of power.