When America First Met China by Eric Jay Dolin
An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

This remarkably complex story—involving trade, ecology, ship design, international politics and cultural conflict, not to mention captains, merchants, naval architects, Chinese mandarins and generals—is remarkably well told by Mr. Dolin...
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Ancient China collides with newfangled America in this epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships.
Brilliantly illuminating one of the least-understood areas of American history, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin now traces our fraught relationship with China back to its roots: the unforgiving nineteenth-century seas that separated a brash, rising naval power from a battered ancient empire. It is a prescient fable for our time, one that surprisingly continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China. Indeed, the furious trade in furs, opium, and bêche-de-mer--a rare sea cucumber delicacy--might have catalyzed America's emerging economy, but it also sparked an ecological and human rights catastrophe of such epic proportions that the reverberations can still be felt today. Peopled with fascinating characters--from the "Financier of the Revolution" Robert Morris to the Chinese emperor Qianlong, who considered foreigners inferior beings--this page-turning saga of pirates and politicians, coolies and concubines becomes a must-read for any fan of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower or Mark Kurlansky's Cod. Two maps, and 16 pages of color and 83 black-and-white illustrations.
 

About Eric Jay Dolin

See more books from this Author
Eric Jay Dolin is the author of Leviathan: The History of Whaling In America, which was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, and also won the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History; and Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America. He is also the author of When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his Ph.D. in environmental policy, he lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.
 
Published September 10, 2012 by Liveright. 432 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Travel, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for When America First Met China
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by John Steele Gordon on Oct 12 2012

This remarkably complex story—involving trade, ecology, ship design, international politics and cultural conflict, not to mention captains, merchants, naval architects, Chinese mandarins and generals—is remarkably well told by Mr. Dolin...

Read Full Review of When America First Met China:... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Reader Rating for When America First Met China
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 54 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×