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When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail
The author of the Boston Globe’s 2007 Best Book of the Year: Leviathan and his 2010 Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America, Eric Jay Dolin returns with the story of America’s first voyages to the Middle Kingdom, where Americans and Chinese looked at each other with wonder, alarm and calculation in his newest book being published September 10, 2012.
When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail” begins at the end of the American Revolution, when America’s relationship with England was in ruins, and the country looked to the Far East for economic trade. On July 22, 1784, the Empress of China sailed into the Pearl River in China. Thousands of American and British vessels began sailing on the Pearl to trade for silk, tea, tea service sets and, the most profitable commodity, opium. Dolin introduces us to some important American names—including Robert Morris, John Ledyard, John Jacob Astor, Robert Forbes, Harriet Low—and he relates the adventures of the first Chinese to come to America, who became almost carnival attractions. The author also describes the perils of the voyage, the designs of the ships, the rise and fall of the clipper ship, and the American involvement in the Opium War. Dolin’s new book is a rich, highly readable examination of the seeds of poppies, trade, greed, grandeur and an international partnership that remains uneasy and perilous.
More About Winchester Public Library
The Winchester Public Library, situated behind Town Hall, offers a number of programs and activities for its patrons, both young and old. Reference librarians are always available to the public to help with locating information, use of the internet and research projects.
The library has a young adults section, located on the upper floor, that serves children ages 12 - 18. It also participates in the Massachusetts's state summer reading program. The library has book websites specifically aimed at teens and a homework center open everyday after school.
For children, the library offers storytelling, book groups, drop-in craft programs and a variety of performers. The library also has memberships to area museums and attractions available for Winchester residents only.
The Winchester Public Library was founded in 1858, and the current building was constructed in 1931. The building is a combination of an art gallery and a library. And in 1996, the library underwent a complete renovation.