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When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

by Eric Jay Dolin
When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

by Eric Jay Dolin

Paperback(Reprint)

$16.95

Overview

Ancient China collides with newfangled America in this epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships.

Brilliantly illuminating one of the least-understood areas of American history, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin now traces our fraught relationship with China back to its roots: the unforgiving nineteenth-century seas that separated a brash, rising naval power from a battered ancient empire. It is a prescient fable for our time, one that surprisingly continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China. Indeed, the furious trade in furs, opium, and beche-de-mer—a rare sea cucumber delicacy—might have catalyzed America’s emerging economy, but it also sparked an ecological and human rights catastrophe of such epic proportions that the reverberations can still be felt today. Peopled with fascinating characters—from the “Financier of the Revolution” Robert Morris to the Chinese emperor Qianlong, who considered foreigners inferior beings—this page-turning saga of pirates and politicians, coolies and concubines becomes a must-read for any fan of Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower or Mark Kurlansky’s Cod.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871406897
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 09/03/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Eric Jay Dolin is the best-selling author of numerous works in maritime history, including Black Flags, Blue Waters and Leviathan. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, he now lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family.

Table of Contents

A Note on the Text xi

Map of Eastern China xii

Map of Canton/Macao Region xiii

Introduction xv

1 "The Adventurous Pursuits of Commerce" 3

2 The Middle Kingdom 24

3 China Dreams 56

4 The "New People" 72

5 China Hush 88

6 The Golden Ghetto 146

7 China Through American Eyes 193

8 The Opium: War 209

9 Racing the Wind 265

10 Fading Fortune 284

Epilogue: Echoes of the Past 309

Acknowledgments 315

Notes 317

Select Bibliography 363

Illustration Credits 367

Index 373

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