Paul Gootenberg, Professor of History at Stony Brook University, and author of "Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug" (UNC Press, 2009) discusses a dramatic chapter in the transnational history of global commodity flows: the invention of illicit cocaine. The sudden emergence of shifting drug trafficking centers and innovating trafficker diasporas from South America to the United States, from 1947-1973, followed a surprising logic of the U.S.-exported Cold War and repressive drug policies —leaving, in its wake, one of the largest and most notorious commodity booms of world history.
Pedro Lastra was born in Chile in 1932. Poet and essayist, Lastra graduated from the University of Chile. Between 1966 and 1973 he served as the literary advisor to the University Press in Chile, where he founded and directed the Letras de América collection. From 1972 until 1994, Lastra was a professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, where he is now Professor Emeritus. In addition to being a corresponding member of the Academia Chilena de la Lengua, Lastra is also an honorary professor at the University of San Marcos (Lima, Peru) and the University of San Andrés (La Paz, Bolivia).
Some of his works of poetry include Traslado a la mañana (1959), Y éramos inmortales (1969, 1974), Cuarderno de la doble vida (1984), Diario de viaje y otros poemas (1998), Canción del pasjero (2001), and Palabras de amor (2002). Lastra has published many articles and he is also the author of several books: Conversaciones con Enrique Lihn (1980, 1990), Relecturas hispanoamericanas (1987), Invitación a la lectura (2001), and Leido y anotado: Letras chilenas e hispanoamercianas (2002).