Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age

Stephen R. Platt

Platt is a master writer. His book is based on prodigious research. He cites original sources.

He describes the city of Canton well in his Introduction. I find his presentation of background facts flows smoothly into the chronological narrative.

His focus is not merely on the wars. He gives us a more nuanced picture of the British establishment’s support and opposition to the opium trade. Whether most of the British elites agreed to use force to supply opium to buy tea. He also gave us the Americans’ unfavorable view on the British illegal acts.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

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