Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos (Clarion) See the website: Sugarchangedtheworld.com.
Sugar is a common supermarket item today, but Marc and his wife the novelist Marina Budhos argue in this book that it was a prime mover of world history – and that following the trail of sugar entirely changes how you understand everything from the medieval hunger for spices to the story of the African slave trade, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution., and even the odyssey of overseas Indians that led directly to Gandhi and the idea of Satyagraha.
Dr. Franklin Odo, Former Dir. of the Smithsonian Institution Asian Pacific American Program
Sugar did indeed change the world. It is such an important, necessary, and controversial part of our contemporary lives that we take it for granted. But in this extremely valuable book, Marc and Marina give us an extraordinary gift – a long, historical, look at the development of sugar and the monumental changes it brought to the globe. The writing is fluid and engaging; the stories of enslavement, brutality, freedom and self-determination are fascinating. Younger audiences will be encouraged to view history and culture as adventure. Those of us a bit older, in all parts of the world, will find that our past and our destinies are much more closely intertwined. This is a marvelous accomplishment.
Sidney W. Mintz, author of Sweetness and Power: The The Place of Sugar in Modern History and Three Ancient Colonies: Caribbean Themes and Variations
That a single food — sucrose, or sugar — could have played so great a part in such important changes in world history makes for a nearly incredible story. But the authors of this book make it believable and immediate. They provide a touching element to sugar’s story by bringing their own life stories into convincing alignment with their global account. This is good writing that will make good reading — for young, and even for old– readers.”
Deborah Warner, a Curator in the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
This book, at once serious and engaging, traces the complex history of sugar over vast expanses of time and space, exploring ways in which this one commodity influenced the formation of empires, the enslavement and migrations of peoples, the development of ideas about liberty, and so much more.