America's First Adventure in China: Trade, Treaties, Opium, and Salvation

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Temple University Press, Apr 14, 2014 - History - 296 pages
In 1784, when Americans first voyaged to China, they confronted Chinese authorities who were unaware that the United States even existed. Nevertheless, a long, complicated, and fruitful trade relationship was born after American traders, missionaries, diplomats, and others sailed to China with lofty ambitions: to acquire fabulous wealth, convert China to Christianity, and even command a Chinese army.

In America's First Adventure in China, John Haddad provides a colorful history of the evolving cultural exchange and interactions between these countries. He recounts how American expatriates adopted a pragmatic attitude-as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and improvisational approach-to their dealings with the Chinese. Haddad shows how opium played a potent role in the dreams of Americans who either smuggled it or opposed its importation, and he considers the missionary movement that compelled individuals to accept a hard life in an alien culture.

As a result of their efforts, Americans achieved a favorable outcome—they established a unique presence in China—and cultivated a relationship whose complexities continue to grow.

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User Review  - Scapegoats - LibraryThing

This is an excellent book that mixes big picture issues with individual stories. Unlike many histories that try to be entertaining, this one includes stories and anecdotes that contribute to its ... Read full review

America's First Adventure in China: Trade, Treaties, Opium, and Salvation

User Review  - Book Verdict

Haddad (American studies & popular culture, Pennsylvania State Univ., Harrisburg; The Romance of China: Excursions to China in the U.S. Culture 1776–1876) has again struck the right note with this ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

John R. Haddad is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Popuar Culture at Penn State Harrisburg. He was awarded the Gutenberg-e Prize in 2002 for his dissertation, which was published as The Romance of China: Excursions to China in U.S. Culture, 1776-1876. In 2010, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and research at the University of Hong Kong.

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