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Opium: Uncovering the Politics of the Poppy
Known to the Greeks as opos or opion, as afiun in Persian and Arabic, and fuyung in Chinese, opium is at once a palliative and a poison. Its exotic origins, its literary associations, and the properties that are, often erroneously, attributed to it have ensured an ongoing air of mystery. Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy reveals the long and fascinating history of a powerful and addict ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 15th 2010 by Harvard University Press
(first published September 18th 2009)
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Chouvy explores the long history of opium, and its role as both a symptom and a tool of the dysfunctional governments of Burma, Afghanistan and China, and the problem that while opium production is deeply entwined with issues of poverty, anarchic tribal government in remote places, economic survival and leverage with the government (such as it is in many places), international organizations meant to suppress or regulate it see through a lens of crime.