In China, both opium and alcohol were used for centuries in the pursuit of health and leisure while simultaneously linked to personal and social decline. The impact of these substances is undeniable, and the role they have played in Chinese social, cultural, and economic history is extremely complex. In Intoxicating Manchuria, Norman Smith reveals how huge intoxicant industries were altered by warlord rule, Japanese occupation, and war. Powering the spread of alcohol and opium -- initially heralded as markers of class or modernity and whose use was well documented -- these industries flourished throughout the early twentieth century even as a vigorous anti-intoxicant movement raged. This book provides a detailed analysis of the media’s positive and negative portrayals of alcohol in the 1930s and 40s, which includes the advertising industry’s promotion of alcohol and its subsequent calls for prohibition. While tracing the history of opium and alcohol consumption in China and the business of intoxicant production in Manchuria, Smith highlights the efforts of anti-intoxicant activists, scientists, bureaucrats, and writers to raise awareness of the dangers of intoxicants. This is the first English-language book-length study to focus on alcohol use in modern China and the first dealing with intoxicant restriction in the region.
Norman Smith received his PhD from the University of British Columbia, and engaged in postdoctoral studies at Oxford and the University of Washington. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the History Department and the Coordinator of the Women's Studies Program.