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Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History Reprint Edition
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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 ›
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
required reading for my granddaughter - she didn't much like the bookPublished 25 days ago by Wanda G. Yow
A classic in the Anthropology of Food, this book exposes the links between Europe's desire for sugar and slavery in the tropics.Published 10 months ago by Joan Gross
how did this ever get published? build a couple hundred pages around thin air. Hugely boring and the teacher who assigned this smokes too much weed.Published 11 months ago by student again
This anthropology of sugar shows how the cultivation of this crop and the use of the end product affected people in two parts of the world: the Caribbean islands and the British... Read morePublished 18 months ago by William Hull
DO NOT try to read this book! It's an anthropological treatise and a terrible bore. As to the seller, everything was as it should be. It's the book itself that is the problem.Published 22 months ago by Grandma N