Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History

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Penguin Publishing Group, 1986 - History - 320 pages
7 Reviews
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A fascinating persuasive history of how sugar has shaped the world, from European colonies to our modern diets

In this eye-opening study, Sidney Mintz shows how Europeans and Americans transformed sugar from a rare foreign luxury to a commonplace necessity of modern life, and how it changed the history of capitalism and industry. He discusses the production and consumption of sugar, and reveals how closely interwoven are sugar's origins as a "slave" crop grown in Europe's tropical colonies with is use first as an extravagant luxury for the aristocracy, then as a staple of the diet of the new industrial proletariat. Finally, he considers how sugar has altered work patterns, eating habits, and our diet in modern times.

"Like sugar, Mintz is persuasive, and his detailed history is a real treat." -San Francisco Chronicle

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PattyLee - LibraryThing

Fascinating study by an anthropologist about sugar/sucrose- its cultivation, effect on the burgeoning capitalist economic system of England, and its role in society. A few parts dragged a bit but I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - soualibra - LibraryThing

In this eye-opening study, Sidney Mintz shows how Europeans and Americans transformed sugar from a rare foreign luxury to a commonplace necessity of modern life, and how it changed the history of ... Read full review

Contents

Food Sociality and Sugar
3
Production
19
Consumption
74
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

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About the author (1986)

Sidney W. Mintz was a professor at the Johns Hopkins University, where he taught anthropology. His academic specialization focused on the anthropology of food, with a particular focus on the consumption and commodification of sugar. His works include Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom: Excursions into Eating, Culture, and the Past; The World of Soy; and Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. He died in 2015.

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