Anglo-European Science and the Rhetoric of Empire
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Anglo-European Science and the Rhetoric of Empire : Malaria, Opium, and British Rule in India, 1756D1895

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A fascinating and intricately woven tale of opium trade, evangelism, scientific discovery and political intrigue, Anglo-European Science and the Rhetoric of Empire: Malaria, Opium and British Rule in India 1756-1895 documents the contribution of a medical misconception to the preservation of British Rule in India. British authorities, desperate to shield the India-China Opium Trade from the escalating criticism of Christian evangelists and missionaries, endorsed the claim that opium prevented and cured malaria. This scientific validation of a vital source of revenue helped decimate the anti-opiumist movement, allowing the Indian government to vastly expand poppy cultivation in the name of both economic prosperity and public health. In this thoroughly researched and immensely readable history, author Paul Winther provides a revealing look at the complex and often unexpected negotiations that enable scientific authority to legitimize political and economic gain.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 448 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 40mm | 721.22g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739105841
  • 9780739105849

Review quote

This superb book is a detailed analysis of an extraordinary aspect of western imperialism: the production of opium in the nineteenth century by the British government in India, as its third most important source of revenue for the maintenance of its power. Anglo-European Science and the Rhetoric of Empire untangles this complex story for the first time. -- Ainslie T. Embree, Columbia University This very careful study is a valuable addition to our understanding of imperialism and to the history of medicine and science in British India. -- Jack Hume, Professor of History, Saint Mary's College In the recent historiography of British imperialism few topics have enjoyed as much renewed interest among scholars as have science, medicine, and missionary evangelism. In this book, Paul C. Winther has provided a meticulously researched study of how all these aspects converged in one of the more controversial episodes of British rule in India: the state-sanctioned production and marketing of opium to Indian and Chinese consumers. Canadian Journal of History This book is a contribution to such researches on the history of science, imperialism, and culture. -- Pratik Chakrabarti, Univeristy of Oxford Highly recommended. CHOICE What Winther has given us, in this masterful work, is an incredibly useful and well-written treatise on the complexities of the whole story of opium and empire. It's difficult to imagine how any such work could be more comprehensive. -- Hal W. French, Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina Paul Winther's book is an especially significant contribution to a widening debate and is particularly timely given recent developments in the historiography. All the volumes of the Royal Opium Commission of 1893-4, were recently republished with an introduction by Joyce Madancy and as such those keen to engage with this remarkable set of sources will find in Winther's book an important addition to the analytical tools available. -- James H. Mills, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom Intenerario 2G:1, (2005) Paul C. Winther provides a rigorous analysis that supports the claim of Carl Trocki that the British empire in Asia was a drug cartel. As the author writes in his introduction, books are still to be written about many particular aspects of the Secret History. Certainly his present magnum opus, in which he successfully incorporates all achievements of previous investigations and the fruits of his own research, will be a great source of inspiration for the generation of scholars to come. Journal of Asian Studiesshow more

About Paul C. Winther

Paul C. Winther is professor of anthropology at Eastern Kentucky University.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Missionaries' Lament in a Milieu of Indifference, 1773-1874 C.E. Chapter 3 The Gathering Storm: Protest, Politics, and Science, 1874-1893 C.E. Chapter 4 The Serendipitous Nature of "Except for Medical Use" and Participants in the Royal Commission Hearings Chapter 5 Hope for the Anti-Opiumists: Witnesses' Perspectives about Why People in India Eat Opium Chapter 6 More Hope for the Moralists?: Witnesses' Observations about Who Eats Opium in India Chapter 7 Sir William Roberts' Evaluation of the Opium and 'Malaria' Evidence Chapter 8 The Anti-Opiumists' Worst Nightmare Chapter 9 The Wider Context: Anglo-European Science and the Rhetoric of Empireshow more