OVERRIDE

Opium

A History

Martin Booth

St. Martin's Griffin

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.

REVIEWS

Praise for Opium

"In writing this exhaustively researched history...Booth brings us that much closer to understanding-and thereby conquering-the most tenacious of human conditions." --Amazon.com

"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

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

"From the subtleties of Chinese history to the complexities of GoldenTriangle narco-nationalism, ...Booth shows us a sure grasp of his material and manages to pull the innumberable and far-flung threads...neatly together." --Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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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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    Opium

    A History

    Martin Booth

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    St. Martin's Griffin

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