The Social Life of Opium in China

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Sep 8, 2005 - History - 241 pages
In a remarkable and broad-ranging narrative, Yangwen Zheng's book explores the history of opium consumption in China from 1483 to the late twentieth century. The story begins in the mid-Ming dynasty, when opium was sent as a gift by vassal states and used as an aphrodisiac in court. Over time, the Chinese people from different classes and regions began to use it for recreational purposes, so beginning a complex culture of opium consumption. The book traces this transformation over a period of five hundred years, asking who introduced opium to China, how it spread across all sections of society, embraced by rich and poor alike as a culture and an institution. The book, which is accompanied by a fascinating collection of illustrations, will appeal to students and scholars of history, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, and all those with an interest in China.
 

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Contents

VI
10
VII
25
VIII
41
IX
56
X
71
XI
87
XII
101
XIII
116
XV
146
XVI
164
XVII
186
XVIII
203
XIX
208
XX
223
XXI
225
XXII
237

XIV
131

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About the author (2005)

Zheng Yangwen is a Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore. She received her PhD from Cambridge University in 2001.

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