Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness (Paperback)April Merleaux (author)
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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
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 525 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 23 mm
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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