American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness
Author: April Merleaux
Pubpsher: UNC Press Books
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.
The great Victorian biologist Thomas Huxley once wrote, "I know of no familiar substance forming part of our every-day knowledge and experience, the examination of which, with a little care, tends to open up such very considerable issues as does yeast." Huxley was right. Beneath the very foundations of human civilization lies yeast--also known as the sugar fungus. Yeast is responsible for fermenting our alcohol and providing us with bread--the very staples of life. Moreover, it has proven instrumental in helping cell biologists and geneticists understand how living things work, manufacturing life-saving drugs, and producing biofuels that could help save the planet from global warming. In The Rise of Yeast, Nicholas P. Money--author of Mushroom and The Amoeba in the Room--argues that we cannot ascribe too much importance to yeast, and that its discovery and controlled use profoundly altered human history. Humans knew what yeast did long before they knew what it was. It was not until Louis Pasteur's experiments in the 1860s that scientists even acknowledged its classification as a fungus. A compelling blend of science, history, and sociology The Rise of Yeast explores the rich, strange, and utterly symbiotic relationship between people and yeast, a stunning and immensely readable account that takes us back to the roots of human history.
Including a Brief Outline of the Social and Moral Condition of Africa; and the Relations of American Slavery to African Civilization. Delivered in the Hall of the House of Representatives of the State of Ohio, January 19, 1850
Introduction to the History of African Civilization explores the major issues dominating African Civilization from the earliest recorded period to the eve of colonial conquest of the continent. C. Magbaily Fyle begins with a discussion of the myths and prejudices underlying most analyses of African issues, and moves into a discussion of the origin of humanity; the similarities between the classical Nile valley civilizations of Egypt, Nubia, Kush, and Axum; and the spread of Islam through African societies. He portrays the systems of precolonial government and society, including the role of women in governance, as well as traditional trade and agricultural patterns. Fyle provides a new perspective on the Islamic Jihads, shifting focus from Sokoto and Macina to the Senegambia and the Upper Guinea region, and a revised interpretation of the Atlantic slave trade, which includes the importance of African objectors to this process. He also discusses important cultural features such as the traditional African food, architecture, and typical structures of towns.
Caribbean Civilisation is a concise history of the English-speaking Caribbean since independence and falls into two main parts. The first part consists of a general introduction which places the Caribbean in its historical, political, social and cultural context, while focusing on key events and topics in the region's history. The second part gathers thirty texts which are meant to illustrate the topics discussed in the first section. Each document is preceded by a short introduction which will help the reader to replace it in its proper context. As the book is primarily concerned with the recent history of the Caribbean, such topics as nation-building, nationalism, independence, and popular culture have been particularly emphasised. This book will be helpful to 'DEUG" and "licence" students of English as well as any reader interested in the Caribbean.
By examining in detail the material life of pre-industrial peoples around the world, Fernand Braudel significantly changed the way historians view their subject. Originally published in the early 1980s, Civilization traces the social and economic history of the world from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution, although his primary focus is Europe. Braudel skims over politics, wars, etc., in favor of examining life at the grass roots: food, drink, clothing, housing, town markets, money, credit, technology, the growth of towns and cities, and more. Volume I describes food and drink, dress and housing, demography and family structure, energy and technology, money and credit, and the growth of towns.