Coffee: A Dark History [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Coffee: A Dark History

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Overview

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 exposé, 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.
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Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Yardley
Antony Wild isn't kidding. The history of coffee is indeed as "dark," as his subtitle puts it, as the cup of Colombian that sits on my desk as these words are written. Himself a coffee lover and an expert on the subject -- he worked for more than a decade as the buyer for a prestigious British specialty-coffee company -- Wild is nonetheless no sentimentalist when it comes to the human and natural toll the bean has extracted -- "poverty, violence, exploitation, environmental devastation, political oppression, and corruption" -- nor to the threats that caffeine poses to the health of those who consume it. As he writes, with the wry touch that makes his book a pleasure:
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
While coffee historian Wild brings enthusiasm to this tome on the 500-year history of the caffeinated bean, it doesn't match the simple passion with which coffee lovers enjoy their morning java. (In fairness to the author, how could it?) Wild (The East India Company) traces the bean as it makes its way from Africa to the Middle East (it was once known as the "wine of Araby") to the West, and the rise in cafe culture across Europe and eventually the New World, where, thanks to the Boston Tea Party, coffee surpassed tea as the patriotic drink of choice for a fledging nation. But Wild repeatedly reminds readers that for all the pleasure a cup of coffee brings to its drinker, the history of this beguiling brew is indeed dark. As long as there has been coffee, Wild asserts, there have been colonial powers-and now corporations-to exploit the workers that grow it. While this is a fascinating story that combines history with anthropology, too often the writing is buried under the heartless statistics of economic formulations. However, the work does provide caffeine junkies with intriguing reading material next time they find themselves waiting in line to order their grande vanilla latte. Illus. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Wild (The East India Company) has been widely recognized for introducing specialty coffees to Great Britain. Here, he presents a 500-year history of the much-loved drink, drawing on science, politics, anthropology, and alchemy before concluding that today's large companies, with their demand for lower prices, have put coffee farmers out of business and thousands of workers out of jobs in Africa and Central America. Wild's explanation of how major corporations have taken over the coffee industry, supported by public information direct from the coffee distributors themselves, will inspire readers to comtemplate their contribution to this global situation. The only comparison would be Stewart Lee Allen's The Devil's Cup, which describes similar facts but from the first person. With its political and historical perspectives, this book reads more like a textbook. Recommended for academic libraries; an optional purchase for others.-Jennifer A. Wickes, Suite101.com, Pine Beach, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781908886392
  • Publisher: Wild Books
  • Publication date: 9/13/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 614,719
  • File size: 878 KB

Meet the Author

During his thirteen years as Director of Coffee at Taylors of Harrogate, Antony Wild introduced many previously unknown coffees to the United Kingdom, and was the first trader to bring the notorious Kopi Luak to the West. He subsequently worked as a consultant, journalist and writer specialising in colonialism and its history. He is the official Historiographer of the East India Company, which has recently republished six of his books, including 'The East India Company: Trade and Conquest from 1600' and 'Remains of the Raj'. His first novel, The Moonstone Legacy, (with Diana de Gunzburg) is published by Pushkin Press in the UK and Hachette India, and is available worldwide as an eBook.
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