Coffee: A Dark History

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2005 - Cooking - 323 pages
52 Reviews
COFFEE TRADER and historian Antony Wild delivers a rollicking history of the most valuable legally traded commodity in the world after oil--and an industry that employs one hundred million people throughout the world. From obscure beginnings in East Africa in the fifteenth century as a stimulant in religious devotion, coffee became an imperial commodity, produced by poor tropical countries and consumed by rich temperate ones. Through the centuries, the influence of coffee on the rise of capitalism and its institutions has been enormous. Revolutions were once hatched in coffeehouses, commercial alliances forged, secret societies formed, and politics and art endlessly debated. Today, while coffee chains spread like wildfire, coffee-producing countries are in crisis: with prices at a historic low, they are plagued by unprecedented unemployment, abandoned farms, enforced migration, and massive social disruption. Bridging the gap between coffee's dismal colonial past and its perilous corporate present, "Coffee reveals the shocking exploitation that has always lurked at the heart of the industry.
  

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Review: Coffee: A Dark History

User Review  - Richard - Goodreads

I've been thinking about reading a book about coffee when I saw Coffee: A Dark History at our local library, so I took a chance. A Dark History sets out to explore the origin of the coffee plant, how ... Read full review

Review: Coffee: A Dark History

User Review  - Amy - Goodreads

NF 308 pages Oh coffee, how I enjoy drinking you! Very interesting to know where you come from. I learnt a lot about the cultivation of coffee and the history it installed. What an eye opening account ... Read full review

Contents

The Way We Live Now
1
Origins
17
Enter the Dragon
34
The Mocha Trade
65
Coffee and Societies
84
The Fall of Mocha
98
Slavery and the Coffee Colonies
118
The Continental System and Napoleons Alternative to Coffee
141
Modern Times
192
Coffee Science and History
212
The Battle of the Hemispheres
226
Fair Trade
257
Espresso the Esperanto of Coffee
271
The Heart of Darkness
285
Coda
299
Appendix The Find at Kush
307

Napoleon and St Helena
149
Slavery Brazil and Coffee
170
The Great Exhibition
176
Harar and Rimbaud the Cradle and the Crucible
183

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About the author (2005)

Wild is a director of the East India Company and an undisputed authority on its history. In addition, he is a member of the Musicians Union; the Performing Rights Society; the Guild of Food Writers; the British Actors' Equity Association; the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph, and Theatre Union; and an honorary member of the Chocolate Society.

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