Barons of the Sea Books And Their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship

: Steven Ujifusa : July 2018

As the US engages In trade disputes with China and Mexico, it’s interesting to note that less than 200 years ago the Chinese viewed Americans as many Americans now view Mexicans – dangerous aliens polluting their country with dangerous drugs.

In the early 1800s it was the British and Americans who smuggled vast amounts of opium grown in India and Pakistan into China; this was a hugely profitable trade responsible for many great American fortunes, and also for massive addiction in China. The opiate problem that now roils the US could be viewed as grand karmic retribution for the American and British importation of opium into China two centuries ago.

What is particularly amazing is that during the Opium Wars the British sent gunships and bombarded Chinese cities, killing hundreds or thousands, and then demanded, and obtained, control of Hong Kong. Can you imagine Mexico sending warships to bombard Houston and demand that they get New Orleans as a trading post? Ahh, back in the day, when drug dealing was respectable.

Summary“A fascinating, fast-paced history…full of remarkable characters and incredible stories” about the nineteenth-century American dynasties who battled for dominance of the tea and opium trades (Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award-winning author of In the Heart of the Sea).

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