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Opium A History

Martin Booth

St. Martin's Griffin

0312206674

9780312206673

Trade Paperback

400 Pages

$20.99

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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 t he 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.

REVIEWS

Praise for Opium

"A great sprawling catalogue of sheer information about opium and its effects over the last 4,000 years, during which it has always been both a blessing and a curse."—The New York Times Book Review

"The book's wealth of detail is remarkable."—The Economist

"Opium is of great value for its thoroughness, and it is briskly written . . . Each chapter [is] a ball of opium with an explosive charge."—The Boston Globe

"From the subtleties if Chinese history to the complexities if Golden Triangle narco-nationalism . . . Booth shows us a sure grasp of his material and manages to pull the innumerable and far-flung threads . . . neatly together."—Kirkus Reviews

"Booth takes us from P. somniferum to 'black gold,' compellingly documenting the influential role of the opiate trade throughout history."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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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
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Martin Booth

  • 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.
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