Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness (Paperback)
  • Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness (Paperback)
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Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness (Paperback)

(author)
£40.50
Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 30/09/2015
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In the weeks and months after the end of the Spanish-American War, Americans celebrated their nation's triumph by eating sugar. Each of the nation's new imperial possessions, from Puerto Rico to the Philippines, had the potential for vastly expanding sugar production. As victory parties and commemorations prominently featured candy and other sweets, Americans saw sugar as the reward for their global ambitions.

April Merleaux demonstrates that trade policies and consumer cultures are as crucial to understanding U.S. empire as military or diplomatic interventions. As the nation's sweet tooth grew, people debated tariffs, immigration, and empire, all of which hastened the nation's rise as an international power. These dynamics played out in the bureaucracies of Washington, D.C., in the pages of local newspapers, and at local candy counters. Merleaux argues that ideas about race and civilization shaped sugar markets since government policies and business practices hinged on the racial characteristics of the people who worked the land and consumed its products. Connecting the history of sugar to its producers, consumers, and policy makers, Merleaux shows that the modern American sugar habit took shape in the shadow of a growing empire.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781469622514
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 525 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
[Merleaux's] research is notable for helping us to comprehend an imperial state as it is operated across different--and differentiated--sites.--Diplomatic History


An exceptionally rich work. . . . Through the lens of sugar, April Merleaux examines some of the deepest tensions in U.S. history.--American Historical Review


Merleaux's geographically expansive and deeply researched book is a welcome addition to work on empire, trade, and consumption. Her powerful epilogue on refined sugar's current reframing as poor food for poor people making poor choices reminds us that inequalities still persist in the empire.--Journal of American History


Brings together an impressive breadth of sources and methodologies to tell the story of America's sugar empire. . . . A strong addition to several historical fields.--H-Net Reviews

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