Opium: A History

Opium: A History

by Martin Booth

Paperback(First Edition)

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Known to mankind since prehistoric times, opium is arguably the oldest and most widely used narcotic. Opium: A History traces the drug's astounding impact on world culture-from its religious use by prehistoric peoples to its influence on the imaginations of the Romantic writers; from the earliest medical science to the Sino-British opium wars. And, in the present day, as the addict population rises and penetrates every walk of life, Opium shows how the international multibillion-dollar heroin industry operates with terrifying efficiency and forms an integral part of the world's money markets.

In this first full-length history of opium, acclaimed author Martin Booth uncovers the multifaceted nature of this remarkable narcotic and the bittersweet effects of a simple poppy with a deadly legacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312206673
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 06/12/1999
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 567,283
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Martin Booth (1944-2004) was the bestselling author of novels including Hiroshima Joe, Islands of Silence, and The Industry of Souls, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Another novel, A Very Private Gentlemen, was adapted into the 2010 movie, The American, starring George Clooney. He also wrote several nonfiction books, including Cannabis: A History and the memoir Golden Boy: Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood. Booth was born in England, but spent much of his childhood in Hong Kong, a location that would deeply inspire his writing. He moved back to England at the age of 20, and started his literary career as a poet. He worked as a schoolmaster, a job he held until 1985, when the success of Hiroshima Joe allowed him to devote himself full-time to his writing. At the time of his death in 2004, he was living in Devon, England.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix(2)
Foreword xi
Chapter 1 Raw Opium
Chapter 2 The Discovery of Dreams
Chapter 3 Pleasure-domes in Xanadu
Chapter 4 Poverty, Potions and Poppy-heads
Chapter 5 Heroic Substances
Chapter 6 God's Own Medicine
Chapter 7 The Fantasy Traders
Chapter 8 The Government of Opium
Chapter 9 Coolies and Conferences
Chapter 10 Junkies and the Living Dead
Chapter 11 DORA, Isabella and Olivia
Chapter 12 Carpets, Condoms and Cats
Chapter 13 Enter the Mobster
Chapter 14 Soldiers and Secrets
Chapter 15 Warlords, Barons and Laundrymen
Chapter 16 Bacteria and The $1,000,000 Bathtub
Bibliography 355(6)
Index 361

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