Cover: Opium’s Long Shadow: From Asian Revolt to Global Drug Control, from Harvard University PressCover: Opium’s Long Shadow in HARDCOVER

Opium’s Long Shadow

From Asian Revolt to Global Drug Control

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Product Details


$42.00 • £33.95 • €38.00

ISBN 9780674976306

Publication Date: 11/12/2018


384 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

23 photos


[A] landmark study of narcotics and civil society… Rimner tells us a great deal about the poppy trade, but this book’s more lasting provocation is the one it offers about citizen action and moral authority in the global order… This book fluently interweaves literature which has rarely before been treated in concert, and is a rich treat for scholars of late empire and international institutions… Offers much food for thought about narcotics and empire.—Benjamin Siegel, New Rambler

In its global scope and integrative narrative, Opium’s Long Shadow offers a long overdue corrective to studies of opium’s history… The book is more valuable for how the Chinese story gains global dimensions, both through the story the book tells and the details it mobilizes… A fine example of what a locally-attuned global history can look like.—Stacie Kent, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

Thoroughly researched and absorbing, Opium’s Long Shadow provides a crucial new insight into the complex local, regional, and international calculus that produced global drug control during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.—David A. Guba, Jr., Pharmacy in History

In a work of great brilliance and erudition, Steffen Rimner shows himself to be a complete historian: polyglot and a master of a vast range of sources, a teller of stories and an acute analyst of power and culture. Never has global opium received a more nuanced treatment.—Jürgen Osterhammel, author of The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century

As this fascinating and deeply researched study reveals, the struggle against opium was driven by a broad coalition of actors hailing from Europe, the United States, and Asia. In a truly transnational history of the fight against opium, Rimner shows the ultimate effectiveness of the international coalition despite many actors’ pursuit of stubbornly local agendas.—Sebastian Conrad, author of What Is Global History?

There has as yet been no study that uses opium as a means of exploring the complex questions of identity, sovereignty, and boundaries in Asia in a time of globalization. The distinctive and sophisticated argument of Opium’s Long Shadow gives us a new approach to understanding the formation of international society.—Rana Mitter, author of Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937–1945

This wonderful book provides us with an excellent overview of local protests against opium trafficking across national boundaries as well as revealing much about the dynamics of drug-trading governments whom they shamed. Rimner effectively integrates the Japanese past, as well as that of other Asian states, into the context of global history.—Haneda Masashi, author of Toward Creation of a New World History

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