America's First Adventure in China: Trade, Treaties, Opium, and Salvation (Paperback)
  • America's First Adventure in China: Trade, Treaties, Opium, and Salvation (Paperback)
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America's First Adventure in China: Trade, Treaties, Opium, and Salvation (Paperback)

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£23.99
Paperback 296 Pages / Published: 14/04/2014
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In 1784, when Americans first voyaged to China, they confronted Chinese authorities who were unaware that the United States even existed. Nevertheless, a long, complicated, and fruitful trade relationship was born after American traders, missionaries, diplomats, and others sailed to China with lofty ambitions: to acquire fabulous wealth, convert China to Christianity, and even command a Chinese army. In America's First Adventure in China, John Haddad provides a colourful history of the evolving cultural exchange and interactions between these countries. He recounts how American expatriates adopted a pragmatic attitude - as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and improvisational approach - to their dealings with the Chinese. Haddad shows how opium played a potent role in the dreams of Americans who either smuggled it or opposed its importation, and he considers the missionary movement that compelled individuals to accept a hard life in an alien culture. As a result of their efforts, Americans achieved a favourable outcome - they established a unique presence in China - and cultivated a relationship whose complexities continue to grow. John Haddad is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Popular Culture at Penn State Harrisburg. He was awarded the Gutenberg-e Prize in 2002 for his dissertation, which was published as The Romance of China: Excursions to China in U.S. Culture, 1776-1876.

Publisher: Temple University Press,U.S.
ISBN: 9781439906903
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 585 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"John Haddad has written a subtle and spirited book, which takes America's first experiences in China as a means to explore the early years of the United States as an independent nation. This is a book about the magic of money and the ingenious ways that American business grandees reacted to the ever-shifting promises and disappointments of an emerging Asian market. It is also a book about religion, diplomacy, financial systems, arms manufacture, families under stress, ship-building, and opium. It is an absorbing tale, with many contemporary echoes." -Jonathan Spence, author of The Search for Modern China


"America's First Adventure in China is a well written, succinct, and elegant book. Haddad brings a fresh approach to-and makes a convincing case for his characterization of-the American presence in China. He describes how the Americans were isolated individuals acting pretty much on their own and with nothing in the way of state, military, or other institutional support. Their experience-operating in a fog of ignorance about a world to which they had only the most limited access-is significant, and he explains why the American experience diverged from rather than followed on the British model."

-Peter Buck, Senior Lecturer (retired) on the History of Science, Harvard University

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