Synopses & Reviews
Itandrsquo;s no surprise that sugar has been on our minds for millennia. First cultivated in New Guinea around 8,000 B.C.E., this addictive sweetener has since come to dominate our appetitesandmdash;whether in candy, desserts, soft drinks, or even pasta saucesandmdash;for better and for worse. In this book, Andrew F. Smith offers a fascinating history of this simultaneously beloved and reviled ingredient, holding its incredible value as a global commodity up against its darker legacies of slavery and widespread obesity.
As Smith demonstrates, sugarandrsquo;s past is chockfull of determined adventurers: relentless sugar barons and plantation owners who worked alongside plant breeders, food processors, distributors, and politicians to build a business based on our cravings. Exploring both the sugarcane and sugar beet industries, he tells story after story of those who have made fortunes and those who have met demise all because of sugarandrsquo;s simple but profound hold on our palates. Delightful and surprisingly action-packed, this book offers a layered and definitive tale of sugar and the many people who have been caught in its spellandmdash;from barons to slaves, from chefs to the countless among us born with that insatiable devil, the sweet tooth. and#160; and#160;and#160;
"Covering 10,000 years of history and ranging the world, the story is made personal by the authors' own family stories, their passion for the subject and their conviction that young people are up to the challenge of complex, well-written narrative history."--Kirkus, starred review
"This is fine historical writing: an epic story on a broad canvas that never loses sight of individual moments of human drama; a historical methodology infused with political, intellectual, cultural, and social strands; a complex sequence of cause and effect; an illuminating synthesis of primary and secondary sources; and a thoughtful marriage of words, picture, and design."and#8212;Horn Book, starred review
"Covering 10,000 years of history and ranging the world, the story is made personal by the authors' own family stories, their passion for the subject and their conviction that young people are up to the challenge of complex, well-written narrative history."and#8212;Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewand#160;
"As the title suggests, this stirring, highly detailed history of the sugar trade reaches across time and around the globe . . . The book's scope is ambitious, but the clear, informal prose, along with maps and archival illustrations, makes the horrific connections with dramatic immediacy."and#8212;Booklist
"This is a poignant, ultimately hopeful essay that clearly chronicles the human pursuit of sugar to satisfy our collective sweet tooth."and#8212;The Bulletin
"An impassioned, thought-provoking account that forces us to look anew at the things we take for granted."and#8212;Jennifer Brown, Shelf Awareness
"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."and#8212;Deborah Warner, Curator, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
andquot;A deliciously informative, engaging and sweeping chronicle of one of the most popular treats in the world.andquot;
andquot;Frydenborg offers a wealth of information that will likely encourage students to think critically about the ecological and human cost of their favorite candies and maybe even prompt them to choose sustainable alternatives...a great choice for school projects or chocolate fans curious about their beloved treat.andquot;
* andquot;This fascinating book presents a deep, multifaceted glimpse at a delectable dessert: chocolate. Engagingandmdash;even witty in placesandmdash;and enlightening.andquot;
andmdash;School Library Journal, starred review
andquot;Primarily a chronological history of the tropical plant and its deliciously addictive by-products, the fascinating, fast-moving narrative also delves into the socioeconomic, scientific, and culinary importance of the cacao bean.andquot;
When this award-winning husband-and-wife team discovered that they each had sugar in their family history, they were inspired to trace the globe-spanning story of the sweet substance and to seek out the voices of those who led bitter sugar lives. The trail ran like a bright band from religious ceremonies in India to Europeand#8217;s Middle Ages, then on to Columbus, who brought the first cane cuttings to the Americas. Sugar was the substance that drove the bloody slave trade and caused the loss of countless lives but it also planted the seeds of revolution that led to freedom in the American colonies, Haiti, and France. With songs, oral histories, maps, and over 80 archival illustrations, here is the story of how one product allows us to see the grand currents of world history in new ways. Time line, source notes, bibliography, index.
Aand#160;fascinating accountand#160;for teen readersand#160;thatand#160;captures the history, science, and economic and cultural implications of the harvesting of cacao and creation of chocolate. Readers of Chew On This and The Omnivore's Dilemma will savor this rich exposand#233;.
Chocolate hits all the right sweet--and bitter--notes: cutting-edge genetic science whisked in with a strong social conscience, history, and culture yield one thought-provoking look into one of the world's most popular foods. Readers who savored Chew on This and Food, Inc. and lovers of chocolate will relish this fascinating read.
When this award-winning husband-and-wife team discovered that they each had sugar in their family history, they were inspired to trace the globe-spanning story of the sweet substance and to seek out the voices of those who led bitter sugar lives.
Itand#8217;s no surprise that humankindand#8217;s love affair with sugar stretches back over millennia. The addictive sweetener originated in New Guinea around 8,000 BC and quickly spread throughout India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. By the tenth century it had become the European obsession and soon afterwards a major export of American colonies. Today sugar is grown around the world and is a main component of sweets, cakes, and soft drinks, as well as of pasta sauce and peanut butterand#8212;despite their savory nature. Sugarcane and sugar beets are two of the most important global commodities, but they are also controversial for their high doses of carbohydrates and lack of nutritional quality. Over-consumption of sugar is associated with many chronic diseases and is a major cause of obesity.
Sugar: A Global History explores sugarand#8217;s reputation as one of the most beloved yet most reviled substances that humans consume. Smith combines historical context with the gripping stories of those who have benefited and suffered because of sugar, and he analyzes mankindand#8217;s convoluted love-hate relationship with the sweetener that has such a powerful hold over us.
About the Author
Marc Aronson has won many awards and prizes for his books, including the first Sibert Award and the Boston Globeand#150;Horn Book Award for Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for Eldorado. Marina Budhos is an assistant professor of English at William Paterson University. She is the author of Ask Me No Questions, winner of the inaugural James Cook Teen Book Award. She and her husband live with their two sons in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Table of Contents
1. Early Sugar History
2. New World Sugar to 1900
3. Global Sugar
4. Sugar Uses
5. Sweets and Candies
6. American Bliss
7. Sugar Blues
Websites and Associations