Opium Inc. How A Global Drug Trade Funded The British Empire

Thomas Manuel



This is the story of the world's biggest drug deal.

In the 19th century, the British East India Company operated a triangle of trade that straddled the globe, running from India to China to Britain. From India to China, they took opium. From China to Britain, they took tea. From Britain to India, they brought empire. It was a machine that consumed cheap Indian land and labor and spat out money.

The British had two problems, though. They were importing enormous amounts of tea from China, but the Celestial Empire looked down on British goods and only wanted silver in return. Simultaneously, the expanding colony in India was proving far too expensive to maintain. The British solved both problems with opium, which became the source of income on which they built their empire.

For more than a century, the British knew that the drug was dangerous and continued to trade in it anyway. Its legacy in India, whether the poverty of Bihar or the wealth of Bombay, is still not acknowledged. Like many colonial institutions in India, the story of opium is one of immense pain for many and huge privileges for a few.

What will you learn from this book

  1. Exploration of Drug Trade: "Opium Inc" provides a deep insight into the intricacies of the drug trade, including production, distribution, and the impact on society.

  2. Global Perspective: The novel offers a global perspective on the drug trade, highlighting its connections to various countries and the complex networks involved.

  3. Human Cost: It portrays the devastating human cost of drug addiction, including the loss of lives, families torn apart, and communities ravaged by the drug trade.

  4. Corruption and Power: The book exposes the corruption and abuse of power that often accompany the drug trade, with powerful individuals and organizations exploiting the system for their gain.

  5. Law Enforcement Challenges: "Opium Inc" sheds light on the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in combating the drug trade, including corruption within their own ranks and the difficulty of dismantling entrenched criminal networks.

  6. Impact on Society: The novel explores the broader impact of the drug trade on society, including economic consequences, public health issues, and the erosion of social fabric.

  7. Human Trafficking: It delves into the dark underbelly of human trafficking linked to the drug trade, highlighting the exploitation and suffering of vulnerable individuals.

  8. Environmental Degradation: "Opium Inc" also addresses the environmental degradation caused by drug cultivation and production, including deforestation, pollution, and habitat destruction.

  9. Personal Stories: Amidst the larger narrative, the book weaves in personal stories of individuals affected by the drug trade, adding depth and humanity to the portrayal of its impact.

  10. Call to Action: Ultimately, the novel serves as a call to action, urging readers to confront the realities of the drug trade and work towards solutions that address its root causes and alleviate its devastating consequences.

Language English
ISBN-10 9354229271
ISBN-13 9789354229275
No of pages 273
Font Size Medium
Book Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
Published Date 31 Aug 2021

About Author

Author : Thomas Manuel


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