Martin Booth: Opium A History



When it comes to mentioning gaols for incarcerationAside from my typically superficial observations Booth offers a considerate thesis based on a very sophisticated historical account about the multifarious issues revolving around the role of opium growth in developing territories the resultant drug problems in developed nations and the various criminal and often governmental machinations that connect these contemporary poles This book contains some interesting information and provides a broad and in depth historical look at its topic However it s a bit dull rations its commas much too severely has a tendency to overgeneralize and its racial characterizations and blind spots are troubling And by virtue of being published in 1996 before the current opiate crisis it s dated now focusing mostly on the 19th and 20th centuriesThe early chapters provide a good overview of how opium is grown its effects and its use from antiuity through the 18th century The author has a tendency to want to make everything about opium like every image in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner there s a lot about Romantic poets here but I still found this fairly interesting But its Anglocentric perspective becomes clear as it gets into the Opium Wars of the early 19th century and beyond with wide eyed details about drug smuggling and an approving view of the drug war While it s not exactly surprising that this white British author failed to draw the insights Alexander did in The New Jim Crow fourteen ears later I find literature about the drug war that doesn t consider its racialized nature to be fairly worthless reading today It s like reading a history of the American South that never mentions black people sure ou might still get some information from it but how much that s really useful There s even a howler about how increasing heroin use in black. Fficiency and forms an integral part of the world's money marketsIn 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 lega.

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Are simply engaging than others and there is certainly something lacking but it s nonetheless a readable history I picked this up after hearing it be recommended on the radio during an interview with someone who apparently was a local heroin dealer It s one of the best and most lucid examinations of the drug war and how drug wars in general have played a pivotal role at various points in modern history It s a must read Now if I could only find MY copy again disappointing to a certain extent in its coverage it begins ancient and then skips ahead to the opium wars and then the modern period i d ve preferred a commodity history through the medieval and early modern periodsfor what it does cover very readable c I found myself alternately crazy bored and truly engaged with Booth s narrative Essentially he tries to cover everything regarding this subject and does an admirable job stuffing 454 kilograms of crap into a five pound bag so to speak Whereas I was less engrossed with the uite detailed technical descriptions of opium harvesting and processing early on budding criminal scientist types no doubt want Overall the author weaves together a story encompassing addicted 18th century Brits 20th century international smuggling operations money laundering mechanisms inevitable CIA involvement 19th century international smuggling operations global scientific medical and legal developments gangsters coolies militias and Hollywood actresses seemingly the whole gamut If I ever really did I certainly no longer desire any information about opiates Anecdotes that I ll remember for at least a few weeks include the falseness of TV detectives licking product at a bust purer stuff might addict them instantly Elvis s ironic contribution to Nixon s war on drugs declaration in 1971 and how an Englishman can write just like a US author except. Ntic 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

Everything ou ever wanted to know about opium and then some After Im Squirrely! (The Nut Family, you read this bookou will realize that not only is our opiate crisis one of our own making but that it doesn t really have to be this way How many people have to die before we see the light This book was highly informative on the history of opium and while dense with information and statistics still very readable The main drawback is not really the fault of the book it was written in 1996 and therefore completely misses the rise of the prescription opioid epidemic in the US I did however find it fascinating to learn of the 18th 19th and early 20th century histories of Asia Europe and the Middle East and how these intersected with the production distribution and use of opium morphine and heroin While this book was published in the mid to late 1990s it is truly a fascinating history of the world from the vantage point of the opium and opioid trade While it jumps around chronologically it goes into extreme detail of things I think with such detail it means that YMMV The book does in fact have an Anglo perspective on things rather than global it still remains fascinating to an American like myself I just wish that another author and historian could come along create a revised and updated edition that could explain the contemporary and modern history of opium I feel such a revised and updated edition would interest a lot people given how the landscape of rapid globalization and social political financial and economic forces truly dictate the drug market such as opium I highly recommend this book for anybody interested in the uirky relationship between humanity and opium Read this several ears ago I found it just fascinating I was really engrossed by the history of the drug s spread and how it affected societies around the globe in the past Certain parts. 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 Roma.

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Martin Booth was a prolific British novelist and poet He also worked as a teacher and screenwriter and was the founder of the Sceptre Press