Sugar Changed the World


| /

This globe-spanning history of sugar is "an epic story on a broad canvas that never loses sight of individual moments of human drama; a historical methodology infused with political, intellectual, cultural, and social strands; a complex sequence of cause and effect; an illuminating synthesis of primary and secondary sources; and a thoughtful marriage of words, picture, and design." (Horn Book starred review)

Here is the story of how one product allows us to see the grand currents of world history in new ways. Using songs, oral histories, maps, and over 80 archival illustrations, Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos put a human face on this vast pageant. Time line, source notes, bibliography, and index included.

The history of sugar runs like a bright band from religious ceremonies in India to Europe’s Middle Ages, then on to Columbus, who brought the first cane cuttings to the Americas. Sugar caused the loss of countless lives, but it also planted the seeds of revolution that led to freedom in the American colonies, Haiti, and France.

Cane, not cotton or tobacco, drove the bloody Atlantic slave trade and took the lives of countless Africans who toiled on vast sugar plantations under cruel overseers. And yet the very popularity of sugar gave abolitionists in England the one tool that could finally end the slave trade. Sugar moved, murdered, and freed millions; sugar changed the world.