Book ID: CBB547901266

Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness (2015)


Merleaux, April (Author)

The University of North Carolina Press

Publication Date: 2015
Physical Details: 320
Language: English

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.

Reviewed By

Review David Singerman (2016) Review of "Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness". Agricultural History (pp. 416-417). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Trujillo-Pagan, Nicole Elise
Robert L. Johnson
Osgood, Robert V.
Patricia O'Reilly
Johnson, Matthew P.
Jones, C. Allan
IA. The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology
Journal of Global History
Social History of Medicine
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Environmental History
Environment and History
University of North Carolina Press
University of Hawai'i Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Arizona Press
Duke University Press
Sugar and sugar industry
United States, colonies
Labor and laborers
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
Puerto Rico
United States
Haciena Buena Vista

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