Drugging a Nation

The Story of China and the Opium Curse

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Author: Samuel Merwin
Published: 1908
Language: English
Wordcount: 42,671 / 131 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 55.4
LoC Category: HV
Downloads: 1,121
Added to site: 2010.08.31
mnybks.net#: 28864
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Non-fiction

A Personal Investigation, during an Extended Tour, of the Present Conditions of the Opium Trade in China and Its Effects upon the Nation.

These chapters were originally published during 1907 and 1908 in Success Magazine. Though frankly journalistic in tone, the book presents something more than the hasty conclusions of a journalist. During its preparation the author travelled around the world, inquiring into the problem at first hand in China and in England, reading all available printed matter which seemed to bear in any way on the subject, and interviewing several hundred gentlemen who have had special opportunities to study the problem from various standpoints. The writing was not begun until this preliminary work was completed and the natural conclusions had become convictions in the author's mind.

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It is not pleasant to answer the moral indignation of the British empire with the cynical statement that the India government cannot exist without that opium revenue. Why, oh, why, did not the great Warren Hastings develop the cotton rather than the opium industry! But the interesting fact is that he did not. He chose opium, and opium it is.

The India Government Opium Monopoly is an import factor in this extraordinary story of a debauchery of a third of the human race by the most nearly Christian among Christian nations. We must understand what it is and how it works before we can understand the narrative of that greed, with its attendant smuggling, bribery and bloodshed which has brought the Chinese empire to its knees. In speaking of it as a "monopoly," I am not employing a cant word for effect. I am not making a case. That is what it is officially styled in a certain blue book on my table which bears the title, "Statement Exhibiting the Moral and Material Progress of India during the year 1905-6," a

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