When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

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Product Details

$27.95  $25.99
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
6.6 X 9.3 X 1.4 inches | 1.75 pounds

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About the Author

Eric Jay Dolin is the best-selling and award-winning author of numerous works in maritime history, including Leviathan, Rebels at Sea, and Black Flags, Blue Waters. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, he lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts.


Starred review. A rich, highly readable examination of the seeds of poppies, trade, greed, grandeur and an international partnership that remains uneasy and perilous.
A smart, riveting history of what has become the most important bilateral relationship in the world.... An all-around outstanding work of maritime history.--Douglas Brinkley, author of Cronkite
Eric Jay Dolin has a special talent for unearthing the fascinating but forgotten origins of our current cultural obsessions and now hes done it again. This fast-paced and deeply researched book is a must-read for anyone interested in Americas long history of competition and cooperation with China.--Debby Applegate, author of The Most Famous Man in America
A tantalizing high-sea yarn of fast-running clippers and murderous pirates and a profound meditation on an international relationship that still absorbs our attention today. Fresh, gripping, pelagically capacious.--Yunte Huang, author of Charlie Chan
Fascinating, compelling, and engrossing.--Joan Druett, author of Island of the Lost
Fast-moving... focuses on intriguing anecdotes and personal vignettes, featuring colorful subjects such as pirates, drug runners, and slave traders, as well as those engaged in more salubrious pursuits. ...[E]ntertaining.
Fascinating and entertaining... masterful history... His work is well-researched, rich in illustrations and full of life.--Tom Zelman
Eric Jay Dolin... has produced another in a series of accessible, highly readable histories detailing the early adventures and impassioned drive that characterized early enterprise in America and set a path for what was to follow... Interesting, informative and entertaining.--Rae Padilla Francoeur
Master storyteller Eric Jay Dolin brings to life the American genius for commerce and its essential connection to how the nation grew... this is a timely and well-told tale.--Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About(R)History
A diligent researcher... Dolin has uncovered some fascinating nuggets about the history of US-China trade.--Matthew Price
Lively biographical sketches, intriguing anecdotes and accounts of curious incidents... Dolin wrings so much drama, interest and humor out of this early period of U.S.-China relations. And what makes his achievement more notable still is that he makes the period come alive without turning the book into one devoted exclusively to opium, the topic that has the clearest dramatic potential and has gotten the most attention in works on the era.--Jeffrey Wasserstrom
This sweeping popular history... brews up a rich and satisfying narrative of the exotic intersection of the silk, tea, and opium trade and the missionary zeal that characterized America's engagement with the still mysterious 'Middle Kingdom' in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With a flair for dramatic and fast-paced storytelling, Dolin provides the reader with nuanced insights into everything from pirates, the world-changing impact of the silk trade, the British-Chinese Opium War of the 1840s, and the fearlessness (and naïveté) of the early missionaries to good old-fashioned tales of adventure on the high seas.