Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we will unlock the book Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History.
When talking about sugar, what comes to mind? Most of the snacks we consume today contain sugar. Since childhood, we’ve become so used to sugar that it’s almost as if our lives are inseparable from sugar and its sweet taste. Nowadays, sugar is so common that we often take it for granted. However, before the 20th century, sugar was not only a luxury sought by nobles but also an important factor in advancing the course of history.
After the discovery of the New World, sugar was nearly as valuable as gold and silver in the emerging world trade system. The emergence of sugar even led to the birth of new trade chains. Sugar not only became an “international commodity” popular among the upper class in Europe, but also facilitated capitalism and economic development in Europe. How did sugar make such a huge impact in history? Why did it gain such a high status? You will find the answers to these questions in this book, Sweetness and Power.
Sydney W.Mintz is the author of this book. He has a double major in psychology and anthropology. He taught anthropology for 24 years at Yale University before joining the anthropology department at Johns Hopkins University, where he remained until he retired. Mintz had his way of researching anthropology. He preferred to use a documentary method that allowed him to obtain inspiration from villagers in the fields and research the development of human civilizations from a unique perspective.
Perhaps because of the influence of his chef father, Mintz was also very interested in food culture. From the book Sweetness and Power, Mintz started a new trend in food culture by combining two fields: food and anthropology research. This also allowed Mintz to be known as the acclaimed Father of Food Anthropology.
In this bookey, we will unlock the key insights of the book in three sections:
Firstly, human beings are born with a deep love for sugar;
Secondly, the impact of sugar on historical developments;
Thirdly, the impact of sugar on people's lives.