Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History Reprint Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140092332
ISBN-10: 0140092331
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy new
$11.81
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
List Price: $17.00 Save: $5.19 (31%)
79 New from $7.20
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Sweetness and Power: The ... has been added to your Cart
More Buying Choices
79 New from $7.20 55 Used from $7.25
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$11.81 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History
  • +
  • Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Total price: $21.52
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (August 5, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140092331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140092332
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sidney Mintz provides and an excellent background on the impact that sugar has made on humankind in the past 400 years. The theme of the of the books centers on sugar within the British economy and culture but provides a different insight on European colonialism and the impact of specialty items in mercantilism economies. Although the book reads as a straight history text, Mintz, as a trained anthropologist, provides a provocative case study into the intricate relationship among products, consumers and producers. The book is well documented/foot-noted. Any student of economics, anthropology or the history of Colonial/Industrial Britain should grace their bookshelf with this text.
Comment 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Mintz carefully places implications that sugar has caused human nature and culture to change and the end of his work, after a brief overview of all that we have been doing with sugar or rather sugar has been doing with us for the past 1000 years. MintzÕs work is divided into 5 sections: Food, Sociality and Sugar; Production; Consumption; Power; and finally Eating and Being. Mintz really hopes to build a base of facts to reveal to us how we as a people have identified with and sought to consume sugar over the past 1000 years and how that has affected us.
Sugar is always a labor intensive project, from the mill, to the distillery, to the storehouse and all the laborers it takes to run these places. Mintz discusses how this need for labor caused the British to look to Africa and other places to find cheap or free labor. With sugar came slavery, and those slaves who did the plantation work generally worked in the Caribbean while the product they created was delivered to British aristocracy.
In the mid-1700Õs sugar is made cheaper and more accessible to the lower classes and at this point shifts in its purpose to sweeten food. And as outlined by the upper statistics, sugar only continues to grow in demand. It is interesting that because sugar started as something precious and hard to come by, when it later became more cheap and accessible to the working class it still seemed to uphold that Òrareness.Ó The working class felt like they were increasing in freedom and status as they started to consume sugar. Sugar and like products Òrepresented the growing freedom of ordinary folks,Ó yet did Sugar really mean freedom?
In analysis of MintzÕs thesis I am most convinced that sugar is a powerful force that has moved us historically and today.
Read more ›
Comment 63 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book very interesting as I read it for a development anthropology class. Mintz gives a detailed and informative history of the development of sugar as a commodity from the colonial age to the present. Coming from an anthropological point of view, he examines the cultural impact of sugar production on the Carribean nations that produce it. He also displays how British organization of the industry in their colonies created an increasing demand for sugar.
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Mintz's book is a bit hard to understand because he approaches the history of sugar from an intensely anthropological perspective. Basically, he studies the meaning associated with sugar (especially in England) during its centuries-long journey across time and economic class. Sugar began as an upper-class commodity. To have sugar displayed one's wealth and status. It was even endowed with magical and medicinal properties. Through colonialism, however, sugar was supplied to England cheaply and it became an daily part of the lower class English diet. It lost its high-status connotations and became a common day product. Mintz also studies the meanings sugar had in literature and speech, and even its effects today. This book is a worthwhile endeavor, and for anthropology, actually almost a fun read.
Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Sidney W. Mintz's Sweetness and Power situates economic analysis in consumption rather than production. The author believes that a producer's labor and exploitation is not enough to understand the exploitation of production. One must unpack the mythos of demand. Central to this is the idea that rational choice leads liberal individuals to consume products because it is in their best interest. Mintz correctly implies that in the historiography of western consumers and colonial producers, this liberal individual is almost always white, male, and couched in the trappings of "civilization." He criticizes prevailing practices in social anthropology that approach colonized peoples as pristine and discrete, a tendency that also has troubling sway over what he terms "anthropology of modern life." He sees the anthropology rooted in his study of a basic commodity-sugar-as a positive contestation of the bounded primitive as a mode of inquiry and one that connects rather than marginalizes its subjects.

Mintz's engagement with cultural anthropology is based on a sophisticated premise: the way in which canonical anthropology marginalizes the primitive in opposition to civil society is related to the way in which liberal economics marginalizes the producer in opposition to the liberal individual consumer. The term "in opposition to" is appropriate because in this marginalization, both ends are mutually decentered. Both the primitive and the civil as well as production and consumption are on the margins because there is a labor, an exploitation, and an invocation to behavior that defies logic on each end. This, Mintz implies, necessitates a rejection of the prevailing colonial narrative of one-way dominion. For him, the mass-consumption of sugar is an anthropological anomaly.
Read more ›
1 Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History