Opium Inc.: How a Global Drug Trade Funded the British Empire (HB)


Author: Thomas Manuel

9789354229275 | HB | pp. xx+274 | 2021 | HarperCollins Publishers

Opium Inc.: How a Global Drug Trade Funded the British Empire by Thomas Manuel tells the interesting story of how the balance of trade shifted between Britain and China when it used India to enable the longest running drug deal in World history.

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The British empire had failed, at huge expense, negotiating a deal for free trade with China. The British Empire wanted Tea from China but it was made clear that China had no interest British manufacturing goods or their cloth. So by the eighteenth century the British empire’s treasury was looking bare.

SImultaneouslt India their new, hard-won colony wasn’t as profitable as they wanted it to be. So they needed to find a way to solve these problems.

Opium Inc.: How a Global Drug Trade Funded the British Empire tells the story of how the British enabled the longest running drug deal in the history of the world.


Thomas Manuel







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HarperCollins Publishers





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About the Contributors

The author is a journalist and award-winning playwright. His words can be found in Lapham’s Quarterly, Nib, Wire, The Hindu, among other publications. In 2016, he won The Hindu Playwright Award for his play Hamlet and Angad. He currently works at India Ink, a public history project where he makes videos about how the past continues to affect us today. Read more about him at thomasmanuel.com.


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