Opium by Martin Booth
A History

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Martin Booth

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Martin Booth wrote the nonfiction histories Cannabis and Opium and the novel Hiroshima Joe, among many other books. He began this memoir of his childhood after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002 and died shortly after completing the manuscript in 2004. An internationally known, Booker Prize--shortlisted novelist and writer, Booth was considered an authority on everything from the history of Chinese organized crime syndicates to the conservation of the African rhino. Opium: A History is regarded as the definitive book on the subject, and he is the author of eight other works of nonfiction, eleven novels, and five works of children's fiction.
 
Published September 24, 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin. 400 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Opium

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In fact, heroin makes up a major portion of the illegal global drug market, whose sales of $500-plus billion a year exceed the GNP’s of 90 percent of UN members.

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Publishers Weekly

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Publishers Weekly

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The book is at once a poignantly lyrical portrait of his life in Myshkino (as if the Russian countryside in summer were seen through the eyes of an English nature poet) and a harrowing account of his life as a zek--one of the countless thousands of political prisoners who toiled in inhumanly brut...

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AV Club

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Novelist/biographer Martin Booth's sprawling history of opium tracks the drug from its initial use as a powerful and effective, if often misused, medicine and anesthetic through the development and massive societal impact of its primary derivatives—morphine and heroin—up to its current status as ...

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Opium: A History

Open Salon

Asked what the message on his sign meant, he shot back, “Oh, I think you know what it means.” Asked what he didn’t like about Obama’s health care plan, he snapped, “There’s a lot of things I don’t like about it.”.

Aug 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Opium: A History

Open Salon

Just before I left for Africa for the first time, my mother told me the story about the time she gave up on religion.

May 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Opium: A History

Open Salon

Barnabas and Burke safely return the boy to Collinwood, but then David begins having nightmares about Barnabas and becomes obsessed with the idea that Barnabas wants to kill him.

Apr 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Opium: A History

Open Salon

We lived in a rural area, among people who were as ordinary and working-class as they come, and I now realize I must have looked like Little Lord Fauntleroy to those kids.

Feb 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Opium: A History

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