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Opium : Reality's Dark Dream - Thomas Dormandy


Reality's Dark Dream

Hardcover Published: 2nd March 2012
ISBN: 9780300175325
Number Of Pages: 376

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Opium and its derivatives morphine and heroin have destroyed, corrupted, and killed individuals, families, communities, and even whole nations. And yet, for most of its long history, opium has also been humanity's most effective means of alleviating physical and mental pain. This extraordinary book encompasses the entire history of the world's most fascinating drug, from the first evidence of poppy cultivation by stone-age man to the present-day opium trade in Afghanistan. Dr. Thomas Dormandy tells the story with verve and insight, uncovering the strange power of opiates to motivate major conflicts yet also inspire great art and medical breakthroughs, to trigger the rise of global criminal networks yet also revolutionize attitudes toward well-being.

Opium: Reality's Dark Dream traverses the globe and the centuries, exploring opium's role in colonialism, the Chinese Opium Wars, laudanum-inspired sublime Romantic poetry, American "Yellow Peril" fears, the rise of the Mafia and the black market, 1960s counterculture, and more. Dr. Dormandy also recounts exotic or sad stories of individual addiction. Throughout the book the author emphasizes opium's complex, valuable relationship with developments in medicine, health, and disease, highlighting the perplexing dual nature of the drug as both the cause and relief of great suffering in widely diverse civilizations.

"Opium: Reality's Dark Dream by Thomas Dormandy, is that rare thing: both an extraordinary work of scholarship and a rip-roaring read."-Rebecca Rose, Prospect -- Rebecca Rose * Prospect *
"Thomas Dormandy is an elegant, dryly amusing writer who plainly has an unquenchable appetite for research."-John Preston, Daily Mail -- John Preston * Daily Mail *
"Rich and engaging . . . a rare triumph."-Washington Post * Washington Post *
"...[A] lively and fascinating chronicle of opium...The book is a remarkable synthesis of different fields of knowledge."-Peter Swabb, Daily Telegraph -- Peter Swabb * Daily Telegraph *
"...[A] scholarly yet wonderfully readable book."-Teresa Levonian Cole, Country Life -- Teresa Levonian Cole * Country Life *
"Rich in stories and an entertaining read, Dr Dormandy has traced the many lives of opium, from the Stone Age to the War of Terror." -Yangwen Zheng, BBC History Magazine -- Yangwen Zheng * BBC History Magazine *
"A wide-ranging and highly engaging history of one of the world's most prominent (and most addictive) narcotics."-Library Journal * Library Journal *

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Juice
Petrified bunsp. 7
The magical seepagep. 12
A gift of the godsp. 17
Rival brewsp. 25
Affyonp. 29
The sleepy spongep. 38
Greater than Celsus?p. 45
The tincture and the powderp. 53
On the banks of the Gangesp. 62
The Turkish connectionp. 69
Romantic opiump. 76
The pleasure dome of Xanadup. 85
The opium eatersp. 91
The peoplep. 98
A salve for all ailmentsp. 104
The Essence
The shape of dreamsp. 115
The most wicked of warsp. 123
The Celestial Kingdomp. 123
The First Opium Warp. 133
The Second Opium warp. 140
The Yellow Perilp. 151
Doctors rulep. 161
American voicesp. 175
Nervous wastep. 186
A heroic substancep. 193
The birth of a crusadep. 200
War and Peace (of sorts)p. 212
Victims and survivorsp. 221
Unholy alliancesp. 232
Junkiesp. 240
Guardians of the lawp. 248
Zero tolerancep. 253
God's own medicinep. 260
Treatments and curesp. 269
Life and death of a drug lordp. 276
The making of a modern narco-statep. 283
New trails: old tribulationsp. 290
Epiloguep. 298
Acknowledgementsp. 300
Notesp. 302
Selected Annotated Bibliographyp. 326
Indexp. 349
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780300175325
ISBN-10: 0300175329
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 376
Published: 2nd March 2012
Publisher: Yale University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 17.1  x 3.5
Weight (kg): 0.78