Opium: A History

3.7 avg rating
( 205 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780312206673: Opium: A History

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.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

With personages from Khun Sa to Coleridge to Kurt Cobain populating its far-ranging pages, Opium: A History provides a comprehensive look at the drug as it's been used, abused, fought over, and profited from throughout the millennia. In all likelihood, one of the first medicinal drugs known to mankind, opium and its derivatives have eased and caused suffering in almost equal measure, a fact that the evenhanded Booth takes pains to point out. In fact, he quotes rock musician Frank Zappa with approbation: "A drug is neither moral nor immoral--it's a chemical compound. The compound itself is not a menace to society until a human being treats it as if consumption bestowed a temporary license to act like an asshole." Booth's book traces opium's history from the first evidence of poppy cultivation (possibly as early as 4,000 B.C.) to the drug wars of today, exploring its uses in different cultures, its roles in British and Chinese political affairs, its use by artists and musicians, and its horrifying ramifications for addicts.

Booth writes with admirable attention to detail, if very little élan. Plowing through some of his sentences is a little like chewing on a mouthful of sawdust: "There are several reasons suggested for the popularity of the hypodermic but the primary one is the lowering standard of heroin purity caused by the success of legislation on production and by the selling methods employed by Italians who took over distribution from Jewish gangs, leading to an increase in price and higher levels of adulteration." It's enough to drive a reader to drugs. Nonetheless, the power of his narrative can't be entirely erased by the unwieldiness of his prose. The book is filled with striking images and surprising facts--for instance, opium-addicted Victorian children, fed "soothing syrups" by minders to keep them quiet. Undernourished, yellow-skinned, in the words of one contemporary observer, they "shrank up into little old men or wizened like a little monkey." In the end, Booth finds few answers to the problems posed by the opium trade--a scourge he says has "destroyed millions of lives, enslaved whole cultures and invidiously corrupted human society to its very core." In writing this exhaustively researched history, however, Booth brings us that much closer to understanding--and thereby conquering--the most tenacious of human addictions. --Mary Park

From the Publisher:

"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

"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 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

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 26.99
US$ 20.76

Convert Currency

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Martin Booth
Published by St. Martins Press-3pl, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martins Press-3pl, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780312206673

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.76
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Booth, Martin
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2000. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # KS-9780312206673

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Booth, Martin
Published by St. Martins Press-3pl 6/12/1999 (1999)
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martins Press-3pl 6/12/1999, 1999. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. Opium: A History. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780312206673

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.86
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Booth, Martin
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (2017)
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martin's Griffin, 2017. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # 0312206674

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.13
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Martin Booth
Published by St. Martins Press-3pl, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martins Press-3pl, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780312206673

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 21.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Martin Booth
Published by St. Martins Press-3pl, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martins Press-3pl, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780312206673

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 22.94
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Booth, Martin
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martin's Griffin. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0312206674 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|1.15. Bookseller Inventory # OTF-S-9780312206673

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.38
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Martin Booth
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
ReadWhiz
(Portland, OR, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780312206673_ing

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 25.24
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Martin Booth
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martin's Griffin. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 400 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.5in. x 1.1in.Known to mankind since prehistoric times, opium is arguably the oldest and most widely used narcotic. Opium: A History traces the drugs 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 worlds 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. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312206673

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 25.96
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Booth, Martin
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (1999)
ISBN 10: 0312206674 ISBN 13: 9780312206673
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martin's Griffin, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # INGM9780312206673

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 23.06
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book