The Sugar Barons (Paperback)Matthew Parker (author)
Executed with powerful narrative drive, Parker's compelling and thoughtful book examines the ruthless corruption and brutality of a handful of British families making and losing their fortunes in the West Indies.
For 200 years after 1650 the West Indies were the most fought-over colonies in the world, as Europeans made and lost immense fortunes growing and trading in sugar - a commodity so lucrative that it was known as white gold.
Young men, beset by death and disease, an ocean away from the moral anchors of life in Britain, created immense dynastic wealth but produced a society poisoned by war, sickness, cruelty and corruption.
The Sugar Barons explores the lives and experiences of those whose fortunes rose and fell with the West Indian empire. From the ambitious and brilliant entrepreneurs, to the grandees wielding power across the Atlantic, to the inheritors often consumed by decadence, disgrace and madness, this is the compelling story of how a few small islands and a handful of families decisively shaped the British Empire.
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 354 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 29 mm
Compelling, wonderful . . . The Sugar Barons is an exemplary book; history as it should be written - Independent
Gripping . . . a compendium of greed, horrible ingenuity and wickedness, but also a fascinating and thoughtful social history - William Dalrymple
A shocking tale of corruption and brutality ... an admirable and gripping history - Sunday Times
Very impressive - a meticulously researched piece of work, and so engagingly written ... what a story! - Andrea Levy, author of Small Island and Long Song
A tumultuous rollercoaster of a book ... Mr Parker tells an extraordinary, neglected and shameful history with gusto - Economist
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