THE OPIUM WAR AND THE END OF CHINA'S LAST GOLDEN AGE
Stephen Platt, Professor of Chinese History at UMass, gives a lucid account of the conflicts that brought about the First Opium War between Britain and China in the 19th century. This war resulted in a treaty that heavily favored Western interests and weakened an already struggling China, paving the way for the fall of the Qing dynasty and for the rise of nationalist sentiment and, eventually, Communism in the 20th century. Imperil Twilight is a vivid narrative that will have special resonance given the recent news about reciprocal tariffs on American and Chinese goods under the Trump administration.
Stephen Platt is Professor of History at UMass, specializing in 19th-century China and its foreign relations. He is the author of Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom, a history of the Taiping Rebellion that won the 2012 Cundhill History Prize.