Listen free for 30 days

Listen with offer

  • Smoke and Ashes

  • Opium's Hidden Histories
  • By: Amitav Ghosh
  • Narrated by: Ranjit Madgavkar
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)
Offer ends May 1st, 2024 11:59PM GMT. Terms and conditions apply.
£7.99/month after 3 months. Renews automatically.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Smoke and Ashes cover art

Smoke and Ashes

By: Amitav Ghosh
Narrated by: Ranjit Madgavkar
Get this deal Try for £0.00

Pay £99p/month. After 3 months pay £7.99/month. Renews automatically. See terms for eligibility.

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £12.99

Buy Now for £12.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

'The writing is sublime, the research thorough, the eye for story superb' Sunday Telegraph

When Amitav Ghosh began the research for his monumental cycle of novels the Ibis Trilogy, he was startled to find how the lives of the 19th century sailors and soldiers he wrote of were dictated not only by the currents of the Indian Ocean, but also by the precious commodity carried in enormous quantities on those currents: opium. Most surprising at all, however, was the discovery that his own identity and family history was swept up in the story.

Smoke and Ashes is at once a travelogue, memoir and a history, drawing on decades of archival research. In it, Ghosh traces the transformative effect the opium trade had on Britain, India, and China, as well as the world at large. The trade was engineered by the British Empire, which exported Indian opium to sell to China and redress their great trade imbalance, and its revenues were essential to the Empire's financial survival. Yet tracing the profits further, Ghosh finds opium at the origins of some of the world's biggest corporations, of America's most powerful families and prestigious institutions (from the Astors and Coolidges to the Ivy League), and of contemporary globalism itself.

Moving deftly between horticultural histories, the mythologies of capitalism, and the social and cultural repercussions of colonialism, in Smoke and Ashes Amitav Ghosh reveals the role that one small plant had in making our world, now teetering on the edge of catastrophe.
©2024 Amitav Ghosh (P)2024 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Smoke and Ashes

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Colonial will and profit

Very dense, perhaps too detailed , but important. Political will is lacking to overcome making profit at the expense of people’s lives.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

an amazing, shocking insight into history

this remarkable book underpins Amitav Ghosh's breathtaking trilogy about the 19C opium wars. Opium has not gone away- 'empire of pain' and many other research-based histories show that with painful clarity. Ghosh connects the opium story to fossil fuels and climate change in a frighteningly prescient way. Read alongside other contemporary histories of colonialism and our contemporary world eg Olusoga 'the World's War' and many more. Highly recommended.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and profound

After reading this fascinating book, I have recalibrated my (previously sketchy) understanding of Chinese and Indian colonial history. The discussion of the nature of addiction and the historical 'rhymes' drawn with the US opioid crisis and the global climate crisis are also very thought provoking. Highly recommended.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!