Sugar: A Bittersweet History

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The Overlook Press, Sep 27, 2011 - 464 pages
2 Reviews

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 Revolution and jumpstarted the fast-food revolution.

The book explores the hidden stories behind this sweet product, revealing how powerful American interests deposed Queen Lili'uokalani of Hawaii, how Hitler tried to ensure a steady supply of beet sugar when enemies threatened to cut off Germany's supply of overseas cane sugar, and how South Africa established a domestic ethanol industry in the wake of anti-apartheid sugar embargos. The book follows the history of sugar to the present day, showing how sugar made eating on the run socially acceptable and played an integral role in today's fast food culture and obesity epidemic. Impressively researched and commandingly written, Sugar will forever change perceptions of this sweet treat.

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User Review  - cheriebd -

A fantastic history of sugar slavery western colonialism. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Katong - LibraryThing

Was disappointed in this, although it did have its moments. Parts were undigested, and it lacked a real overview and global perspective somehow. That being said, i devoured the detail on the West Indian lobby and British sugar traders. Read full review

Selected pages


The Reign of Sugar Begins
The Proletarianization of Sugar
The Africanization of the Cane Fields
The World the Whites Made
Sugar Stirs the Universe
Racism Resistance Rebellion and Revolution
Abolishing the Slave Trade
Slavery and Apprenticeship
Sugar for North America
The Sugar Diasporas
Meet and Eat Me in St Louis
Sugars Legacies and Prospects
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About the author (2011)

Elizabeth Abbott is Research Associate at Trinity College, University of Toronto, and, from 1991 to 2004, was Dean of Women. She is the author of several books, including Sugar and Haiti, also published by Overlook. She lives in Toronto.

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