9.02.2014

Coffee: A Dark History


Coffee: A Dark History
Second in a series of posts on the subject of the History of Coffee



Coffee: A Dark History

“Masterful and exhaustive . . . eye-opening lessons in economics, 
ethics, culture and science, resulting in a comprehensive overview 
of a commodity that is second only to oil 
in its importance to world trade.”
 —Worcester Evening News

Coffee trader and historian Antony Wild delivers a rollicking history of the most valuable legally traded commodity in the world after oil—an industry that employs 100 million people throughout the world. From obscure beginnings in east Africa in the fifteenth century as a stimulant in religious devotion, coffee became an imperial commodity, produced by poor tropical countries and consumed by rich temperate ones. Through the centuries, the influence of coffee on the rise of capitalism and its institutions has been enormous. Revolutions were once hatched in coffeehouses, commercial alliances were forged, secret societies were formed, and politics and art were endlessly debated. Today, while coffee chains spread like wildfire, coffee-producing countries are in crisis: with prices at a historic low, they are plagued by unprecedented unemployment, abandoned farms, enforced migration, and massive social disruption. Bridging the gap between coffee’s dismal colonial past and its perilous corporate present, Coffee reveals the shocking exploitation that has always lurked at the heart of the industry.


*As of this posting, available through Amazon - although the hardcopy and paperback are a little pricey, the Kindle edition is under $10.   Also, the reviews on this one are enlightening.  The facts seem to be questionable and the writing style a little flighty.