by Sidney W. Mintz
From the publisher: In this eye-opening study, Sidney Mintz shows how Europeans and Americans transformed sugar from a rare foreign luxury to a commonplace necessity of modern life, and how it changed the history of capitalism and industry.
He discusses the production and consumption of sugar, and reveals how closely interwoven are sugar’s origins as a “slave” crop grown in Europe’s tropical colonies with is use first as an extravagant luxury for the aristocracy, then as a staple of the diet of the new industrial proletariat. Finally, he considers how sugar has altered work patterns, eating habits, and our diet in modern times.
Sidney W. Mintz was a professor at the Johns Hopkins University, where he taught anthropology. His academic specialization focused on the anthropology of food, with a particular focus on the consumption and commodification of sugar. His works include Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom: Excursions into Eating, Culture, and the Past; The World of Soy; and Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. He died in 2015.