Why this book?
This book pioneered the blending of anthropology, sociology, and history to explore the impact of a single commodity on the history of the world. Europeans, Africans, and Americans transformed sugar from a relatively rare luxury into one of the most widely available goods and a staple of modern life. This sweetness, as Mintz explains, came at a heavy price—the destruction of indigenous peoples and landscapes, slavery, and the health of the consumer.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
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…