New PDF release: Golden-Silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550-2010

By Carol Benedict

From the long-stemmed pipe to snuff, the water pipe, hand-rolled cigarettes, and eventually, synthetic cigarettes, the historical past of tobacco in China is the attention-grabbing tale of a commodity that turned a trademark of contemporary mass consumerism. Carol Benedict follows the unfold of chinese language tobacco use from the 16th century, while it used to be brought to China from the hot global, in the course of the improvement of commercialized tobacco cultivation, and to the current day. alongside the best way, she analyzes the criteria that experience formed China's hugely gendered tobacco cultures, and exhibits how they've got developed inside a huge, comparative world-historical framework. Drawing from a wealth of historic sources--gazetteers, literati jottings (biji), chinese language materia medica, Qing poetry, glossy brief tales, overdue Qing and early Republican newspapers, commute memoirs, social surveys, ads, and more--Golden-Silk Smoke not just uncovers the lengthy and dynamic historical past of tobacco in China but additionally sheds new mild on worldwide histories of favor and consumption.

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Extra resources for Golden-Silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550-2010

Example text

We think of these ships as “European” because Iberian monarchs or English and Dutch investors financed them and men such as Ferdinand Magellan, Thomas Cavendish, and Cornelis de Houtman served as captains. Yet the early modern maritime world was by necessity a multicultural one. 92 The shared experience of a life at sea facilitated the transmission of exotic new customs from one sailor to the next. It is not surprising that the earliest adopters of Amerindian tobacco included many among the itinerant labor force who rigged the sails and propelled these ships across the world’s oceans from Veracruz or Bahia to Manila and Macau.

As one gazetteer compiler observed, “Now it is grown throughout the district. ”58 Similarly, farmers in the suburbs around Beijing intensified cultivation of tobacco after the Qing conquest. 59 This locally grown tobacco was sold primarily for non-elite consumption, however. Wealthier smokers preferred tobacco products brought in not only from Manchuria and Fujian but also newly established growing districts in far distant locales scattered across the empire, including some in China’s far western borderlands.

72 Late Ming gazetteers for many of the other districts in western Yunnan record cultivation of maize and sweet potatoes much earlier than do those for other areas of the province. In prefectures farther east, these crops were not listed as local products until the mid-eighteenth century. While this geographical discrepancy might be explained by cultural or economic differences between Han Chinese resident in the eastern part of the province and the distinctive ethnic groups that remained the majority in the west, a more plausible explanation is that these exotic plants reached farmers in western Yunnan first because of the intensive overland interactions between Dali and the Burmese coastal regions connected to broader Indian Ocean circuits of trade.

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