The incredible and complex history of opium throughout the world.
Opium has played a dramatic and varied role in human history, inspiring religious veneration, scientific exploration, the bitterest rancor, and the most fanciful ecstasy. Now, authors Jeff Goldberg and Dean Latimer have provided a complete, insightful history of opium. Flowers in the Blood lifts the veil of mystery that has surrounded opium down through the ages.
Why a three-thousand-year-old statue of a Greek goddess was crowned with poppies
The formulas for Hippocrates’s ancient opium remedies
Why the Islamic councils of the wise vilified hashish but venerated opium
Why there was no opium problem in nineteenth-century England and America despite unprecedented and unrestricted consumption of opiates
What really provoked the Opium Wars in China
Why John Jacob Astor quit the opium trade
The unique role played by Chinese opium in the birth of the American labor movement
Along the way, the authors provide details of the addictions of S. T. Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey, and other literary opium-eaters of the nineteenth century, as well as chronicling the progress of antidrug laws and the ongoing search for an addiction cure.
Originally published in 1981, this edition of Flowers in the Blood has been updated with a new preface by Goldberg. At times disconcerting, raising serious questions about attitudes and approaches toward powerful drugs and their control, Flowers in the Blood is an essential addition to the literature of opium, and a wide-awake look at the stuff that dreams (and nightmares) are made of.
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- CHET YARBROUGH
This deepened my knowledge of the oft- taboo subject of the opium poppy with its associated travails, successes against pain and sociological plunders across the ages. The author(s) weave a fascinating account of exactly how imbedded this uncommon flower and its byproducts have been in humanity's development, from Asia to Europe, and across the railroad-tracked plains of North America, then into our modern cities and ultimately into our legal system. The story seems to come to a halt in the 1970s, so in my view what is lacking is a chapter or two filling the audience in on developments into the 21st century.
Crisp, not-too-fast pace well-suited for listening in fast track mode when review was needed.
No- my emotions don't tend to run away when listening to historical, semi-scientific subject matters, though the book never ceased to be eminently entertaining.
Three cheers for an update to bring this landmark work up to the present year of 2014.