Opium Wars: The Addiction of One Empire and the Corruption of Another

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Sourcebooks, Inc., Feb 1, 2004 - History - 352 pages
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In this tragic and powerful story, the two Opium Wars of 1839 1842 and 1856 1860 between Britain and China are recounted for the first time through the eyes of the Chinese as well as the Imperial West. Opium entered China during the Middle Ages when Arab traders brought it into China for medicinal purposes. As it took hold as a recreational drug, opium wrought havoc on Chinese society. By the early nineteenth century, 90 percent of the Emperor's court and the majority of the army were opium addicts.

Britain was also a nation addicted-to tea, grown in China, and paid for with profits made from the opium trade. When China tried to ban the use of the drug and bar its Western smugglers from it gates, England decided to fight to keep open China's ports for its importation. England, the superpower of its time, managed to do so in two wars, resulting in a drug-induced devastation of the Chinese people that would last 150 years.

In this page-turning, dramatic and colorful history, The Opium Wars responds to past, biased Western accounts by representing the neglected Chinese version of the story and showing how the wars stand as one of the monumental clashes between the cultures of East and West.

"A fine popular account."-Publishers Weekly

"Their account of the causes, military campaigns and tragic effects of these wars is absorbing, frequently macabre and deeply unsettling."-Booklist
  

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Dear Reviewers,
This is not a review of The Opium Wars, which would represent a horrific conflict of interest since I cowrote the book.
This posting is just a note to say thank you to all of the reader-reviewers who praised my book.
Thank you all so much.
Frank Sanello
 

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User Review  - epersonae - LibraryThing

Meh. Started strong, but got a bit worn down by the particulars. Read full review

Contents

Chapter 2 Disastrous Etiquette
13
Chapter 3 Zero Intolerance
37
Chapter 4 Canton Besieged
57
Chapter 5 The Black Hole of Canton
71
Chapter 6 The Battle in Britain
77
Chapter 7 Drugs and Guns
85
Chapter 8 Diplomacy by Gunboat
97
Chapter 9 The Economics of Addiction
103
Chapter 19 Peer Pressure
193
Chapter 20 Scottish Conquistador
211
Chapter 21 Hostilities Renewed
227
Chapter 22 Lord Elgins Return
241
Chapter 23 To the Gates of Peking
251
Chapter 24 A Hostage Crisis
261
Chapter 25 I Am Not a Thief
271
Chapter 26 Rescue and Retaliation
279

Chapter 10 Crucifixion and Cages
109
Chapter 11 Steamed Victory
115
Chapter 12 A Price on His Head
125
Chapter 13 The Sacking of Amoy Ningbo and Charles Elliot
133
Chapter 14 Chinese Masada
143
Chapter 15 Early Victorian Vikings
149
Chapter 16 The Trade in Poison and Pigs
163
Chapter 17 Strange Interlude
167
Chapter 18 Outrageous Slings and the Arrows Misfortune
175
Chapter 27 The Diktat of Peking
289
Epilogue
293
Illustrations and Maps
299
Notes
309
Short Bibliography
321
About the Authors
323
Index
325
Back Cover
335
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Historian and educator W. Travis Hanes III, Ph.D., is an expert on nineteenth-century Britain and holds a doctorate in British Imperial History from the University of Texas at Austin. He has written two books on the twilight of the British Empire in Africa, Imperial Diplomacy in the Era of Decolonization and the upcoming Imperialism or Expatriate Nationalism?

Frank Sanello is the author of 15 books on films and history. He was the film critic for the Los Angeles Daily News, and his articles have been syndicated worldwide. Both authors live in Los Angeles, California.

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