Author(s): Julia Lovell
In the 1800s, Britain was making a mint selling Indian opium to China. In return, they were buying tea, silks and ceramics. When eventually China decided that the drug trade was ruining her people, the British declared war, declaring China 'protectionist', 'backwards-looking' and 'superstitious'. For two years Britain pummelled China's east coast, forcing her to sign a humiliating treaty allowing Britain full trading access. A weakened China was at the mercy of the West until the Communist triumph of 1949. This is the popular belief. World-renowned China expert Julia Lovell expands this incredible story, digging beneath the propaganda and misinformation to present a refreshing and compelling new take on history. Fascinating, topical, superbly written and impeccably researched, this groundbreaking new work will become mandatory reading for anyone interested in the East.
Julia Lovell is an award-winning translator, author, and professor at the University of London, where she lectures on modern Chinese history and literature.