Suivre le sucre pour éclairer l'histoire du monde : tel est le stupéfiant voyage auquel nous invite James Walvin. Tout commence avec la colonisation des Caraïbes et des Amériques, puis avec l'essor des plantations. C'est la naissance d'un nouvel ordre, fondé sur la déportation de millions d'Africains réduits en esclavage. Après l'extermination des populations indigènes et la destruction des paysages, les premières usines polluantes sont implantées pour fabriquer du sucre et du rhum. Se met en place une organisation du travail implacable qui inspirera Henry Ford. Mais il fallait aussi que ce sucre, quasiment inconnu jusqu'au XVIIe siècle, soit consommé. D'abord réservé à la table des élites, il devient, avec la révolution industrielle, l'aliment de base de la classe ouvrière, pendant que le rhum fait des ravages parmi les populations les plus pauvres. Un bouleversement des habitudes alimentaires désastreux : caries, obésité et diabète se répandent ; la consommation de boissons et de céréales sucrées gagne toujours plus de terrain.
De Bordeaux à Bristol, des fortunes colossales se sont bâties sur le sucre et l'esclavage, marquant les débuts du capitalisme. Plus tard, des entreprises sans scrupule, dont Coca-Cola reste la plus emblématique, développeront leur pouvoir de ravager le monde en même temps que leur surface financière. Et dicteront parfois la politique des grands États.
Slavery in Small Things: Slavery and Modern Cultural Habits isthe first book to explore the long-range cultural legacy of slavery through commonplace daily objects. Offers a new and original approach to the history of slavery by an acknowledged expert on the topic Traces the relationship between slavery and modern cultural habits through an analysis of commonplace objects that include sugar, tobacco, tea, maps, portraiture, print, and more Represents the only study that utilizes common objects to illustrate the cultural impact and legacy of the Atlantic slave trade Makes the topic of slavery accessible to a wider public audience
As we approach the bicentenary of the abolition of the Atlantic trade, Walvin has selected the historical texts that recreate the mindset that made such a savage institution possible - morally acceptable even. Setting these historical documents against Walvin's own incisive historical narrative, the two layers of this extraordinary, definitive account of the Atlantic slave trade enable us to understand the rise and fall of one of the most shameful chapters in British history, the repercussions of which the modern world is still living with.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, soccer was widely accepted as the most popular game in the western world. In the space of a few decades, it had become the best-supported team game in Britain, watched and played by more boys and men than any other sport. Yet here was a game with strong traditional folk roots and a history that stretched back to the late Middle Ages. In the course of the nineteenth century, football was transformed, mainly within the British public schools, to become the codified and disciplined game of urban working men. The passion for the game spread from one town to another, a passion that, though familiar today, was new in the years after 1870. Thereafter, the game rapidly spread to much of the world: to Europe, South America and a host of other societies. This book tells the story of the rise of this remarkable British game and the way it became the game of the masses across the world. In the wealth of literature about football published in recent years, no other book provides so concise and colourful an account as The People's Game.
The story of sugar, and of mankind's desire for sweetness in food and drink is a compelling, though confusing story. It is also an historical story.The story of mankind's love of sweetness - the need to consume honey, cane sugar, beet sugar and chemical sweeteners - has important historical origins. To take a simple example, two centuries ago, cane sugar was vital to the burgeoning European domestic and colonial economies. For all its recent origins, today's obesity epidemic - if that is what it is - did not emerge overnight, but instead evolved from a complexity of historical forces which stretch back centuries. We can only fully understand this modern problem, by coming to terms with its genesis and history: and we need to consider the historical relationship between society and sweetness over a long historical span. This book seeks to do just that: to tell the story of how the consumption of sugar - the addition of sugar to food and drink - became a fundamental and increasingly troublesome feature of modern life.Walvin's book is the heir to Sidney Mintz's Sweetness and Power, a brilliant sociological account, but now thirty years old. In addition, the problem of sugar, and the consequent intellectual and political debate about the role of sugar, has been totally transformed in the years since that book's publication.