W. Travis Hanes III Frank Sanello
- Title: Opium Wars
- Author: W. Travis Hanes III Frank Sanello
- ISBN: 9781402201493
- Page: 263
- Format: Paperback
In this tragic and powerful story, the two Opium Wars of 1839 1842 and 1856 1860 between Britain and China are recounted for the first time through the eyes of the Chinese as well as the Imperial West Opium entered China during the Middle Ages when Arab traders brought it into China for medicinal purposes As it took hold as a recreational drug, opium wrought havoc on CIn this tragic and powerful story, the two Opium Wars of 1839 1842 and 1856 1860 between Britain and China are recounted for the first time through the eyes of the Chinese as well as the Imperial West Opium entered China during the Middle Ages when Arab traders brought it into China for medicinal purposes As it took hold as a recreational drug, opium wrought havoc on Chinese society By the early nineteenth century, 90 percent of the Emperor s court and the majority of the army were opium addicts Britain was also a nation addicted to tea, grown in China, and paid for with profits made from the opium trade When China tried to ban the use of the drug and bar its Western smugglers from it gates, England decided to fight to keep open China s ports for its importation England, the superpower of its time, managed to do so in two wars, resulting in a drug induced devastation of the Chinese people that would last 150 years In this page turning, dramatic and colorful history, The Opium Wars responds to past, biased Western accounts by representing the neglected Chinese version of the story and showing how the wars stand as one of the monumental clashes between the cultures of East and West A fine popular account Publishers Weekly Their account of the causes, military campaigns and tragic effects of these wars is absorbing, frequently macabre and deeply unsettling Booklist
Recent Comments "Opium Wars"
A depressing example of how countries can justify to themselves their most self-serving and outrageous actions. The British trying to rectify a trade imbalance caused by the British "addiction" to Chinese tea, began to take opium from its Indian colony and sell it in China. The Emperor tried to ban the trade and the rest is, really, history. I'm sure most people don't know that Hong Kong was acquired by Britain as part of its monumentally unfair settlement with China after one of the two Opium W [...]
If you want to get a whole lot of information about the Opium Wars - this book is fantastic. For someone who is just looking for the basic knowledge and understanding well then this is probably overkill. For being a blow by blow of each battle and every little significant happening of the wars, I think they did a great job of keeping it interesting. Truly, however, by the end I thought it was pretty redundant. What I really did like about it is that they kept it impressively unbiased. I definite [...]
A very strong picture of how and why China and the West have never been able to "get along" and probably will never learn. Hanes takes you from the building blocks of the conflicts, back to the early 1790's and shows you the hubris of both sides of the conflicts. The world views of each of the nations involved was simply barbaric and would not be tolerated in this day and age. The starts the book off with the best modern day "what if" example to show you how stupendous Britain was toward the Chi [...]
This is a pretty clear, straightforward account of the Opium Wars. It doesnt have to exaggerate how evil the British were and how venal and incompetent the Manchu rulers of China were.If you want an insight into modern-day Chinese thinking you should read this book; this is how they think of us. This is basically the story of how a cash-strapped empire forced a corrupt and degenerate dynasty, hated by its subjects, to buy as much opium they could produce. When the Chinese protested the Brits bro [...]
The British had a problem. They were importing more from China than they were exporting to China. Since the Chinese preferred payment in silver, Her Majesty's saving account was loosing money at an alarming rate. Noting the Chinese liked their opium and the Empress of India had the means to provide hundreds of tons of it, the British encouraged the market to grow.Some might say the solution to an international trade imbalance is to find a better product to sell. In the nineteenth century, the Br [...]
An informative book, and highly detailed. It doesn't aim to set up heroes or villains, though I felt the authors went too soft on a few of the British figures. They might describe some person as "not racist," then quote him talking about "lesser races." Less racist than his colleagues, quite likely. But still racist.The writing was adequate, except for several awkward turns of phrase, that I felt were the authors trying to be clever. Sticking to dry yet serviceable academic writing probably woul [...]
Solid 4.5 stars An excellent look at a very depressing part of history often overlooked. The authors show how Britain overcame a massive trade deficit due to tea by selling massive quantities of opium to China, eventually fighting two wars to keep the trade open. The inability of both cultures to come to any compromise is sadly one of the most recurring issues in history. A very readable, fascinating book.
How "the War Against Drugs" went for China in the mid-1800s. SPOILER ALERT: Opium 2, China 0. How the UK (with support from its friends, France and the USA) forced recalcitrant China (i) to eliminate pesky trade barriers to free trade, thereby making possible the introduction of hard-core drug addiction to the mass of the population of China, and (ii) to make available a safe, convenient port for the mass importation of same (i.e Hong Kong). In the immortal words of John Lennon, "Instant karma g [...]
A good, readable work on this nasty turn of events. The greed of the East India Company and the narrow-mindedness of the Chinese Emperor and his administrators is truly astounding. And to think Hong Kong was only recently "given back" was a result of its original ceding during these wars
From the category of history that is as interesting as fiction and if you want to have a better understanding of why certain countries behave the way they do, then read about Britain and China and the 19th century and how Hong Kong became a British Territory.
This book is a good primer on the relationship of China to the West and coldblooded business of geopolitics and money that always seems to surround them.
Very good nonfiction on the British and Chinese history of the 1800.
Real page turner. Hard to believe this actually happened. I'm not sure of who to blame more. On second thought, it's definitely the British that should be blamed more.
If I could give a zero I would. Not sure how this was published. If I wasn't getting paid to read it, I would've dropped it by page 50. Essentially unreadable. The sentences, the syntax, the structure all of it was a disaster zone. At best, there were tons of historical inconsistencies and, at worst, some of the information presented was just plain inaccurate. For example, referring to Napoleon the III just as Napoleon when Napoleon III was in power approx 4 decades later. Leaving the III off is [...]
Not the best history book but OK. The theme is that the opium trade not only destroyed China’s empire but ruined the morality of the English. The opium trade was started because of balance of payments issues with the export of tea and silk from China – it was draining the British treasury. Opium was the only product China needed. China had ignored the west so long that all of its military especially naval and artillery were antiquated. The other theme to apply today is that you can not stop [...]
Two nations of drug addicts, one to tea, the other to opium, become embroiled in an all out drug war in the mid-Nineteenth Century. Compounding the problem, both nations are locked into a supremely arrogant mind-set and see the other as barbarians whilst they, and they alone, represent true 'Civilisation'. Whats of most interest though is that through the lens of the Opium Wars we watch the social forces of Civilization and Intoxication play themselves out in an unique fashion. It is also intere [...]
Accessible readable insight into the politics, personalities and flawed logic if the two opium wars waged by British on China in the 19th century. Some annoying repetition, inappropriate modern mores references and proof reading lapses notwithstanding. Useful background to a contempory trip to Hong Kong.
A sad and necessary book to read to help understand how western interventions in Asia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has screwed us in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Somewhat derivative of earlier works, which would be okay if the prose flowed a bit better and there were fewer repetitions of facts.
This was a very interesting and tragic look at how britain basically addicted the Chinese to opium in order to finance their tea trade through the East India Trading Company. They actually fought wars to keep the drug trade flowing into China. Something they won't cover in this detail in your typical history class.
Meh. Started strong, but got a bit worn down by the particulars.
I just wanted general information on the Opium Wars- but like many history writers he also suffers from researchitis and gave too much irrelevant information.
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