Eric Jay Dolin

discusses

When America First Met China:
An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail

This event includes a book signing

Date

Sep
14
Friday
September 14, 2012
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome award-winning author ERIC JAY DOLIN for a discussion of his epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships, When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail.

Illuminating one of the least-understood areas of American history, Eric Jay Dolin now traces our fraught relationship with China back to its roots: the unforgiving nineteenth-century seas that separated a brash, rising naval power from a battered ancient empire.

It is a prescient fable for our time, one that surprisingly continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China. Indeed, the furious trade in furs, opium, and bêche-de-mer--a rare sea cucumber delicacy--might have catalyzed America's emerging economy, but it also sparked an ecological and human rights catastrophe of such epic proportions that the reverberations can still be felt today. Peopled with fascinating characters, from the "Financier of the Revolution" Robert Morris to the Chinese emperor Qianlong, who considered foreigners inferior beings, this page-turning saga of pirates and politicians, coolies and concubines will delight fans of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower or Mark Kurlansky's Cod.

“Eric Jay Dolin's engagingly paced narrative of the early years in the China-America relationship made me smile as I recognized the modern reality in this old tale of the odd couple of statecraft. When America First Met China, in fascinating ways, tells us much about who we are today.” Mark Kurlansky, author Cod 

“A smart, riveting history of what has become the most important bilateral relationship in the world. . . . An all-around outstanding work of maritime history.” Douglas Brinkley, author of Cronkite

Eric Jay Dolin
Eric Jay Dolin

Eric Jay Dolin

Eric Jay Dolin is the author of the bestselling Leviathan: The History of Whaling In America, which was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by The Los Angeles TimesThe Boston Globe, and The Providence Journal, and was chosen by Amazon.com's editors as one of the top ten history books of 2007. Leviathan also won the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History, and the 23rd Annual L. Byrne Waterman Award, given by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, for outstanding contributions to whaling research and history. His last book, Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America, was chosen by New West, The Seattle Times, and the Rocky Mountain Land Library as one of the best nonfiction books of 2010, and it also won the 2011 James P. Hanlan Book Award, given by the New England Historical Association.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Drooks

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