Chocolate on Trial: Slavery, Politics, and the Ethics of Business

Chocolate on Trial: Slavery, Politics, and the Ethics of Business

by Lowell J. Satre
     
 

At the turn of the twentieth century, Cadbury Bros. Ltd. was a successful, Quaker-owned chocolate manufacturer in Birmingham, England, celebrated for its model village, modern factory, and concern for employees. In 1901 the firm learned that its cocoa beans, purchased from Portuguese plantations on the island of São Tomé off West Africa, were produced by

Overview


At the turn of the twentieth century, Cadbury Bros. Ltd. was a successful, Quaker-owned chocolate manufacturer in Birmingham, England, celebrated for its model village, modern factory, and concern for employees. In 1901 the firm learned that its cocoa beans, purchased from Portuguese plantations on the island of São Tomé off West Africa, were produced by slave labor.

Chocolate on Trial: Cadbury, Slavery and the Economics of Virtue in Imperial Britain gives a lively and highly readable account of the events surrounding the libel trial in which Cadbury Bros. Ltd. sued the London Standard, following the newspaper's accusation that the firm was hypocritical in its use of slave-grown cocoa. As compelling now as at the turn of the previous century, the issues probed by Lowell J. Satre give invaluable historical background to contemporary issues of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and globalization. The story Satre tells illuminates what a stubbornly persistent institution slavery was and shows how Cadbury, a company with a well-regarded brand name and logo, endured ethical dilemmas and challenges to its record for social responsibility. Chocolate on Trial brings to life the age-old conflict between economic interests and the value of human life.

Satre illuminates the stubborn persistence of the institution of slavery and shows how Cadbury, a company with a well-regarded brand name from the nineteenth century, faced ethical dilemmas and challenges to its record for social responsibility. Chocolate on Trial brings to life the age-old conflict between economic interests and regard for the dignity of human life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This is a well-written, marvelously researched, and utterly fascinating study of an episode in the social, political, economic, and even religious history of imperial Britain.”
— Thomas C. Kennedy, author of British Quakerism, 1860–1920: The Transformation of a Religious Community

“Lowell Satre has written a fascinating book that addresses a question perennial to modern day commercial economies where complex chains of supply are at the root of production.... Satre's work is invaluable for identifying the context of today's problems, the significance of law, and strategies for mobilization.”
Law and History Review

“Satre’s story-telling ability is maintained to the very last page.... The author handles the impressive breadth of government, business, journalistic and private primary sources and evidence in a controlled and balanced way.... Satre deftly exposes the firm in this nuanced social and political history.”
Journal of African History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780821416259
Publisher:
Ohio University Press
Publication date:
07/01/2005
Edition description:
1
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author


Lowell J. Satre is professor of history emeritus at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio. He is author of Thomas Burt, Miners' MP, 1837-1922: The Great Conciliator.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >