When America First Met China

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By Eric Jay Dolin

An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

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 beche-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. 

Paperback, 432 pages. 83 black-and-white illustrations

5.6" x 1.1" x 8.3"

Copyright 2012 by Eric Jay Dolin