Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

In this eye-opening study, Sidney W. 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 sugar's origins are as a "slave" crop grown in Europe's tropical colonies, with its 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.

©1985 Sidney W. Mintz (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Shows how the intelligent analysis of the history of a single commodity can be used to pry open the history of an entire world of social relationships and human behavior." ( The New York Review of Books)

What listeners say about Sweetness and Power

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Dated but still worthwhile

The subject is of enormous interest, and while I am glad I listened to the book for the information it contains, it seems dated and less than satisfying. I started reading books on history in the 1960s and have been struck in recent years by how most books written before about 2000 have become dated even if that doesn't mean they are no longer worth reading. Knowledge and understanding have grown so much in the last two decades that books often need a serious update, and this one is a good example. The story of sugar since 1985 could well provide material for another book. Recent books such as those by Gary Taubes and Robert Lustig have put sugar in a new perspective. If you've read these, Sweetness and Power is an interesting and useful complement, but even as historic-anthropological analysis, it seems incomplete. For instance, there is not very much on labor relations and what sugar production meant for laborers as production evolved in the course of time.

3 people found this helpful