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The social life of opium in China
AuthorZheng Yangwen 鄭揚文
Pub. LocationCambridge, Eng.PublisherCambridge University Press
Date2005Phys. Desc.xiii, 241 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
LocationAdmin. OfficeCall NumberHV5840.C6 Z44 2005
The social life of opium in China / Zheng Yangwen.
Includes bibliographical references (225-236) and index.

'The art of alchemists, sex and court ladies' -- As the empire changed hands -- 'The age of calicoes and tea and opium' -- 'A hobby among the high and the low in officialdom' -- Taste-making and trendsetting -- The political redefinition of opium consumption -- Outward and downward 'liquidation' -- 'The volume of smoke and powder' -- 'The unofficial history of the poppy' -- Opiate of the people -- The road to St. Louis -- 'Shanghai vice'

"In a broad-ranging narrative, Zheng Yangwen'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 500 years, asking who introduced opium to China, how it spread through 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, offers a vivid and alternative perspective on life in China, which will be embraced by students of history, anthropology and sociology, and all those with an interest in China."--Jacket.

Subject(s)Opium trade--China--History
Opium trade--China--Shanghai
Opium abuse--China--19th century
Opium abuse--China--History
Rec. TypeBookLanguageEnglish
CollectionRicci Institute [AEC]Rec. #19111
ISBN0521608562; 9780521608565LCCN2004057026OCLC56103922