Coffee: A Dark History
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Over thirty thousand copies sold worldwide, translated into Japanese, Chinese, Turkish and French. This foreword to this new 2013 eBook edition gives the full background to Wild's inadvertent creation of the kopi luwak industry in 1991, his involvement in the BBC undercover investigation into the trade, and the "Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap!" he has founded to get it banned.
"…with a dry wit and an admirable muckraking spirit, Wild more than does justice to a story rife with injustices." Newsday.
"He writes with (a) wry touch that makes his book a pleasure." Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"Antony Wild's "Coffee" is as rich and complex as the brew itself." Carlo Wolff, Boston Globe
"....this polemical, grandiose, yet thoroughly entertaining book…" Mother Jones
"…Coffee is an elegantly written, even witty book, so wide in scope, so rich in detail, so thought-provoking in the subtle way that it develops its central thesis, that it is a challenge to do justice to it." Joanna Blythman, The Sunday Herald
"…full of fascinating anecdotal detail about our favourite stimulant." The Ecologist
"…a strong espresso of a thoroughly-researched, hugely informative history of the dark side of coffee…" Geographical
"This masterful and exhaustive work is about much more than history. We're also treated to eye-opening lessons in economics, ethics, culture and science…" Jennifer Cunningham, The Herald
Arguably the most valuable legally traded commodity after oil, coffee's dark five-hundred-year history links alchemy and anthropology, poetry and politics, and science and slavery. Revolutions have been hatched in coffee houses, secret societies and commercial alliances formed, and politics and art endlessly debated.
With over a hundred million people looking to it for their livelihood, the coffee industry is now the world's largest and the financial lifeblood of many third-world countries. But with world prices notoriously volatile, the future is always uncertain. In this thought-provoking expose, Antony Wild, coffee trader, novelist and historian, explores coffee's dismal colonial past and its perilous corporate present, revealing the shocking exploitation as the heart of the industry.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
One of the most influential and informing books I've ever read. Smooth prose, intriguing narrative, and just enough fact to believe the mysteries!
The only drawback is its European sensibilities lead to a LOT of focus on Napoleon and St. Helena, both play marginal roles in coffee and central roles in the book.
I read to learn about coffee in general. My mind became open to the issues of fair trade, neo-colonialism, militarism, genetic modification, sustainable agriculture, species conservation, religious tolerance and innumerable other issues which coffee has forwarded to include human rights and liberation.
Quite simply an amazing book.