Sugar was not just a circumstance of slaver In pages and footnotes, Elizabeth Abbott tells the relentlessly monotonous and sordid history of sugar. She details slave relations in several plantations in minutely drawn accounts, as well as tracing the bigger movements of the slave trade, revolts, abolition movements, and corporate disputes.
Abbott recounts all of it in exhausting detail, seemingly transcribing her research notes rather than editing them. There are major differences, however, in that in the early days of the trans-Atlantic sugar trade, the cheapest labor was forced and unpaid, and a major lucrative business was found in capturing and selling those laborers.
I would have liked more depth in this area. Had she written more thoroughly on those forces--market demands behind the atrocities of slavery and obscene profits, readers could understand how the same nexus of bodily desire, corporate opportunism, and cultural blindness might still be prevalent, and might be defeated.
Abbott quotes food historian Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat p. However, the last chapter about sugar in the 20th century was hurried and somewhat random seeming. It stayed close to the title topic and gave more adequate coverage to the use of sugar in other places than the Caribbean.
It is not much different today, where rich investor nations harvest the raw materials and invest in poor nations for the labor-intensive portions of the production, develop a hold on the economies of those poor nations, and feel justified in protecting their investments in any way necessary.
Portugal started the African slave trade inalmost immediately using slaves to cut cane on their western shores. Eventually the European empires included the East Indies India ; the various partners and planters squared off against each other in political intrigues.
A contemporary example p. Our book club which I have mentioned beforehad covered a theme of "food" in which we read Michael Pollan and other sources on general food production. Though the early history is based on rather scant information, he presents a plausible theory as to how the influence and production of sugar made its way, geographically and linguistically, from Southeast Asia and Oceania throughout the Old World, and subsequently ho This is a fairly thorough, but fast-moving history of sugar and its impact on world history.
Author Mcinnis has included the earliest known references to sugar cane and its products, including ancient texts and Biblical references. In the first chapter, Abbott mentions the demand for sugar in the 16th century.
These sections would have been better suited as a through-line to provide breaks in the misery she describes for the bulk of the book. Sugar was not just a circumstance of slavery across the Western hemisphere, but its prime cause.
At times OK, most of the time I feared it was her writing style that was the main cause of "relentlessly monotonous," but she cannot be blamed that the story of sugar, for the past years, has been one howling tragedy after another: This book ended with the decline of cane sugar in the sweetener market, but I was disappointed that it did not discuss more thoroughly the impact of beet sugar, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners on the cane sugar industry and the economies formerly dependent on it.
Sugar was an integral part of trade and conquest routes that linked Portugal, Spain, France, England, and Belgium with slave colonies in West Africa and colonized territories in the Caribbean "West Indies": Another difference, regarding sugar, was that it was refined in the colonies only to the stage where it could be best shipped to Europe where the local workforce did the final refining - whereas today the entire manufacturing of goods is typically done by the cheaper labor abroad and all that is necessary in the investor nations is a sufficient number of people willing and able to buy the products.
She covers the agricultural as well as human disasters: For most of the book the focus is on European colonialism and the slave trade. A Bittersweet History" which I had just read prior to reading this book.
From Persia, sugar and refining techniques made it to the Mediterranean and Europe. Jul 22, Ronald Wise rated it liked it This is a fairly thorough, but fast-moving history of sugar and its impact on world history.Start by marking “Bittersweet: The Story of Sugar” as Want to Read: This book was humorous in parts and serious in other parts, which I enjoyed.
Considering the sordid history of sugar, I'm almost inclined to renounce my sweet tooth! I still feel like I'd like to know more.
Books by Peter Macinnis/5.
The bittersweet story of sugar Why sugar is Print edition | Books and artsDec 15th The Case Against Sugar. calls “a long and sordid history of dietary professionals in the U.S. who. Sugar: A Bittersweet History by Elizabeth Abbott Sugar: A Bittersweet History is a compelling and surprising look at the sweet commodity, from how it Africanized the cane fields of the Caribbean to how it fuelled the Industrial.
Start by marking “Sugar: A Bittersweet History” as Want to Read: Abbott's book on the history of sugar focuses mostly on the sugar plantations and trade with the West Indies.
I had expected the book to be more broad in subject matter. That being said, the history covered is important and interesting to read.
The history of Cane /5. Bittersweet: The Story of Sugar [Peter Macinnis] on mi-centre.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This social and historical exploration traces the history of sugarcane from its home in New Guinea to Shakespeare’s England. Fascinating sugar lore and anecdotes are included/5(9).
Bittersweet: the story of sugar is an interesting and entertaining little book. I'd always thought that sugar was a New World crop, but apparently it was first cultivated in New Guinea, and then it spread to India, where crystalized sugar was /5(2).Download