Synopses & Reviews
From the long-stemmed pipe to snuff, the water pipe, hand-rolled cigarettes, and finally, manufactured cigarettes, the history of tobacco in China is the fascinating story of a commodity that became a hallmark of modern mass consumerism. Carol Benedict follows the spread of Chinese tobacco use from the sixteenth century, when it was introduced to China from the New World, through the development of commercialized tobacco cultivation, and to the present day. Along the way, she analyzes the factors that have shaped Chinaand#8217;s highly gendered tobacco cultures, and shows how they have evolved within a broad, comparative world-historical framework. Drawing from a wealth of historical sourcesand#151;gazetteers, literati jottings (biji), Chinese materia medica, Qing poetry, modern short stories, late Qing and early Republican newspapers, travel memoirs, social surveys, advertisements, and moreand#151;Golden-Silk Smoke not only uncovers the long and dynamic history of tobacco in China but also sheds new light on global histories of fashion and consumption.
and#8220;Required reading for anyone interested in global commodity history or Chinese consumer history.and#8221;
and#8220;A font of empirical information and a model of source analysis.and#8221;
and#8220;A success on many fronts... It is easy to see that numerous audiences would find this book a rewarding examination of an engaging topic.and#8221;
Farewell to the God of Plague reassesses the celebrated Maoist health care model through the lens of Mao's famous campaign against snail fever. Using newly available archives, Miriam Gross documents how economic, political, and cultural realities led to grassroots resistance. Nonetheless, the campaign triumphed, but not because of its touted mass-prevention campaign. Instead, success came from its unacknowledged treatment arm, carried out jointly by banished urban doctors and rural educated youth. More broadly, the author reconsiders the relationship between science and political control during the ostensibly antiscientific Maoist era, discovering the important role of "grassroots science" in regime legitimation and Party control in rural areas.
is the best account we have of Chinese tobacco use over the last 400 years of history. Benedict takes us on a very enjoyable guided tour of late imperial and Republican Chinese culture. Along the way, she presents us with some surprising findings, such as her recovery of a large but mostly forgotten industry of cheap, hand-rolled cigarettes for the urban poor. This is a lucidly written, cogently argued and exhaustively researched book."and#151;Kenneth Pomeranz, author of The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy
"This is a richly detailed exploration of the history of tobacco in China. Benedict pursues this New World Crop down through the centuries of Chinese history, seeking at each turn to make sense of how global tobacco 'became Chinese.' The result is an ambitious and important work."and#151;Antonia Finnane, author of Changing Clothes in China
About the Author
Carol Benedict is Associate Professor in the School of Foreign Service and the Department of History at Georgetown University. She is the author of Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth Century China.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1. Early Modern Globalization and the Origins of Tobacco in China, 1550and#150;1650
2. The Expansion of Chinese Tobacco Production, Consumption, and Trade, 1600and#150;1750
3. Learning to Smoke Chinese-Style, 1644and#150;1750
4. Tobacco in Ming-Qing Medical Culture
5. The Fashionable Consumption of Tobacco, 1750and#150;1900
6. The Emergence of the Chinese Cigarette Industry, 1880and#150;1937
7. Socially and Spatially Differentiated Tobacco Consumption during the Nanjing Decade, 1927and#150;1937
8. The Urban Cigarette and the Pastoral Pipe: Literary Representations of Smoking in Republican China
9. New Women, Modern Girls, and the Decline of Female Smoking in China, 1900and#150;1976
Epilogue: Tobacco in the Peopleand#8217;s Republic of China, 1949and#150;2010