This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers the possibility that pipe making was a specialized activity, with people using pipes that they had not made. Pipes mass-produced in England and the Netherlands betray their origins in the clay and stone versions made and used by the people whose land they settled, and who had first taught them to 'drink' tobacco smoke. The white, brittle pipes were soon found throughout Europe and virtually everywhere Europeans colonized or traded with tobacco smoking populations. That construction process is particularly visible in the development of race-based slavery in early Virginia. Critical race theorists examine how social structures, especially the law, are used to create and renew racial categories and racial inequality. They, along with mainstream historians, often point to colonial Virginia as an example of how race was made, but laws alone cannot change a society.