Opium's Long Shadow: From Asian Revolt to Global Drug Control

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Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.5 X 1.3 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author

Steffen Rimner is Ad Astra Fellow and Assistant Professor in the History of International Affairs at University College Dublin. He has taught at Utrecht University, Harvard University, and Columbia University, and held affiliations at Yale University, the University of Oxford, Waseda University, and the University of Tokyo (Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia).


In a work of great brilliance and erudition, Steffen Rimner shows himself to be a complete historian: polyglot and a master of a vast range of sources, a teller of stories and an acute analyst of power and culture. Never has global opium received a more nuanced treatment.--JΓΌrgen Osterhammel, author of The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century
As this fascinating and deeply researched study reveals, the struggle against opium was driven by a broad coalition of actors hailing from Europe, the United States, and Asia. In a truly transnational history of the fight against opium, Rimner shows the ultimate effectiveness of the international coalition despite many actors' pursuit of stubbornly local agendas.--Sebastian Conrad, author of What Is Global History?
There has as yet been no study that uses opium as a means of exploring the complex questions of identity, sovereignty, and boundaries in Asia in a time of globalization. The distinctive and sophisticated argument of Opium's Long Shadow gives us a new approach to understanding the formation of international society.--Rana Mitter, author of Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937-1945
This wonderful book provides us with an excellent overview of local protests against opium trafficking across national boundaries as well as revealing much about the dynamics of drug-trading governments whom they shamed. Rimner effectively integrates the Japanese past, as well as that of other Asian states, into the context of global history.--Haneda Masashi, author of Toward Creation of a New World History
[A] landmark study of narcotics and civil society...Rimner tells us a great deal about the poppy trade, but this book's more lasting provocation is the one it offers about citizen action and moral authority in the global order...This book fluently interweaves literature which has rarely before been treated in concert, and is a rich treat for scholars of late empire and international institutions...Offers much food for thought about narcotics and empire.--Benjamin Siegel"New Rambler" (12/04/2019)