|The social life of opium in China|
|Author||Zheng Yangwen 鄭揚文|
|Pub. Location||Cambridge, Eng.||Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Date||2005||Phys. Desc.||xiii, 241 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.|
|Location||Admin. Office||Call Number||HV5840.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.