Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History

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Penguin Books, 1986 - History - 274 pages
41 Reviews
In this book the author 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 its 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.

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Out of the three books assigned for my Cultural Anthropology course this one was the only which worked against my developing chronic narcolepsy. In any case this is a very dense book, full of insightful information. I would read it on my spare time and still sincerely enjoy it. I recommend this book to any mind of intelligence.  

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User Review  - Dan Allosso - Goodreads

Put down without finishing. It's not that it's a bad book. I'm apparently just not in the mood for academic history right now. Read full review


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About the author (1986)

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

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