The Chinese and Opium under the Republic: Worse than Floods and Wild Beasts

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SUNY Press, Jan 3, 2008 - History - 298 pages
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In the nineteenth century, opium smoking was common throughout China and regarded as a vice no different from any other: pleasurable, potentially dangerous, but not a threat to destroy the nation and the race, and often profitable to the state and individuals. Once Western concepts of addiction came to China in the twentieth century, however, opium came to be seen as a problem “worse than floods and wild beasts.” In this book, Alan Baumler examines how Chinese reformers convinced the people and the state that eliminating opium was one of the crucial tasks facing the new Chinese nation. He analyzes the process by which the government borrowed international models of drug control and modern ideas of citizenship and combined them into a program that successfully transformed opium from a major part of China’s political economy to an ordinary social problem.
 

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Contents

Establishing a Meaning for Opium
9
The Narrative of Addiction in China and the West
35
The International Campaign against Opium
57
Warlords and Opium
89
Opium the Nation and the Revolution
111
Hankou the AntiOpium Inspectorate and Control of the Opium Trade
151
Purifying the People and Defending the State The Six Year Plan to Eliminate Opium
177
Defining Drugs
195
War Poppies and the Completion of the Plan
215
Conclusion
231
Notes
239
Bibliography
277
Index
295
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About the author (2008)

Alan Baumler is Associate Professor of History at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and editor of Modern China and Opium: A Reader.

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