The Peasant Production of Opium in 19th Century India is a pioneering work about the more than one million peasants who produced opium for the colonial state in nineteenth-century India. Based on a profound empirical analysis, Rolf Bauer not only shows that the peasants cultivated poppy against a substantial loss but he also reveals how they were coerced into the production of this drug. By dissecting the economic and social power relations on a local level, this study explains how a triangle of debt, the colonial state’s power and social dependencies in the village formed the coercive mechanisms that transformed the peasants into opium producers. The result is a book that adds to our understanding of peasant economies in a colonial context.
In 1920 Lenin called on the Communist International to open a second front against the imperialist powers by fighting alongside nationalist and peasant movements in the colonies. Eighteen months later, leaders of fledgling East Asian communist parties and other revolutionaries gathered in Moscow to plan the way forward. The Congress of the Toilers of the Far East profoundly influenced the strategy of Communist Parties throughout the colonial world. But alliances with other parties were fragile and risky. East Asian Communist Parties suffered serious defeats in the years following the Congress until WWII revived their fortunes. This edited and annotated edition of the Congress minutes will be of interest to scholars and general readers alike