WHO: Stephen R. Platt
WHAT: IMPERIAL TWILIGHT:
The Opium War and the End of China’s
Last Golden Age
WHEN: Published by Knopf May 17, 2018
WHY: “Platt’s vivid and compelling major reassessment will shift our understanding
of the First Opium War.
“Clear writing and an excellent sense of story and scene-setting mark Platt’s reexamination of the causes of the First Opium War (1839–42). While the dominant narrative portrays the conflict as inevitable, Platt’s careful telling of the events leading up the war shows that it was actually more of a surprise and that both sides sought to avoid the conflict. In addition to examining the direct interactions Chinese officials had with British traders and smugglers, Platt looks beyond the events in Canton and considers both empires and the influence earlier domestic politics and struggles, including the White Lotus Rebellion and the Napoleonic Wars, had on the actions of both sides.
“Platt brings to life the people who drive the story, including the missionaries desperate to learn more about China and its language, the drug smugglers who made so much money they still have name recognition, the officials desperate to handle a growing crisis of widespread opium addiction, and even a pirate queen and Jane Austen’s older brother.” –Jennifer Rothschild, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“This delightful work is essential for anyone interested in Chinese or British imperial history.” –Joshua Wallace, in a starred review for LIBRARY JOURNAL
“A deeply researched study of an early clash of civilizations.”
“A winning history.” –PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Knopf. With 36 illustrations and 2 maps.
556 pages. $35 ISBN 978-0-307-96173-0
To interview the author, contact:
Josie Kals | 212-572-2565 | firstname.lastname@example.org