HARVARD EAST ASIAN MONOGRAPHS
Cover: Opium and the Limits of Empire in HARDCOVER

Harvard East Asian Monographs 241

Opium and the Limits of Empire

Drug Prohibition in the Chinese Interior, 1729–1850

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$50.00 • £40.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674016491

Publication Date: 04/30/2005

Short

7 figures

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard East Asian Monographs

World, subsidiary rights restricted

The British opium trade along China’s seacoast has come to symbolize China’s century-long descent into political and social chaos. In the standard historical narrative, opium is the primary medium through which China encountered the economic, social, and political institutions of the West. Opium, however, was not a Sino–British problem confined to southeastern China. It was, rather, an empire-wide crisis, and its spread among an ethnically diverse populace created regionally and culturally distinct problems of control for the Qing state.

This book examines the crisis from the perspective of Qing prohibition efforts. The author argues that opium prohibition, and not the opium wars, was genuinely imperial in scale and is hence much more representative of the actual drug problem faced by Qing administrators. The study of prohibition also permits a more comprehensive and accurate observation of the economics and criminology of opium. The Qing drug traffic involved the domestic production, distribution, and consumption of opium. A balanced examination of the opium market and state anti-drug policy in terms of prohibition reveals the importance of the empire’s landlocked western frontier regions, which were the domestic production centers, in what has previously been considered an essentially coastal problem.

From Our Blog

Jacket: Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom, by James Danckert and John D. Eastwood, from Harvard University Press

Responding to Boredom during Self-Isolation

No one likes to be bored, but it’s almost inevitable during this time of social distancing and self-quaratine. John D. Eastwood, coauthor of Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom, explains some things that we know about boredom, how to address it—and even what we can gain from it. We have been here before. During the SARS outbreak of 2003, upwards of 23,000 people in the Greater Toronto Area were quarantined. House

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.