Opium Wars

Overview

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

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Overview

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402201493
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 354
  • Sales rank: 460,244
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Introduction: Chemical Warfare Methods and Measures

Chapter -1.Lord Elgin's Revenge Chapter -2.Disastrous Etiquette Chapter -3.Zero Intolerance Chapter -4.Canton Besieged Chapter -5.The Black Hole of Canton Chapter -6.The Battle in Britain Chapter -7. Drugs and Guns Chapter -8.Diplomacy by Gunboat Chapter -9.The Economics of Addiction Chapter -10.Crucifixion and Cages Chapter -11.Steamed Victory Chapter -12.A Price on His Head Chapter -13.The Sacking of Amoy, Ningbo, and Charles Elliot Chapter -14.Chinese Masada -
Chapter -15."Early Victorian Vikings"
Chapter -16.The Trade in Poison and Pigs Chapter -17.Strange Interlude Chapter -18.Outrageous Slings and the Arrow's Misfortune Chapter -19.Peer Pressure Chapter -20.Scottish Conquistador Chapter -21.Hostilities Renewed Chapter -22.Lord Elgin's Return Chapter -23.To the Gates of Peking Chapter -24.A Hostage Crisis Chapter -25."I Am Not a Thief"
Chapter -26.Rescue and Retaliation Chapter -27.The Diktat of Peking

Epilogue -
Illustrations and Maps Notes Short Bibliography About the Authors Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2008

    A reviewer

    I suspect that I am like most Americans and was completely unaware of the two 'wars' that occurred between Britain and China in the mid 1800¿s. So, when I saw the book I was immediately intrigued with the subject ¿ and the authors¿ introduction should be the model of how to hook a potential reader into buying the book. Unfortunately, the introduction is the high point of the book and the rest of the book is not merely a down hill slide, it is a cliff. The authors¿ blatant hatred of England and outrage at English motivations and actions completely drowns that story. What a fascinating story this would have been if the authors would have simply let the facts speak for themselves ¿ surely the readers could be equally outraged on their own without page after page of the authors beating you down with the evil English empire. Oh, the authors do point out the jingoism and racism of the Chinese, but they temper this by all but making the Chinese out to be this large but simpleton empire that has no responsibility for the wars that occurred. Simply put, run, do not walk away from this book. You can never get back the time you spent reading this book and surely you could have found something more beneficial to do with your money ¿ I don¿t know, a brand new toothbrush?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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