King Sugar: Jamaica, the Caribbean and the World Sugar Industry

Overview

What is life like on a sugar plantation at the end of the twentieth century? What will happen if the sugar industry collapses? How do the poverty-stricken cane cutters of rural Jamaica fit into the global economy? And how does sugar make its way from the canefield to our kitchens?

The Carribean's history is inseparable from sugar. In Jamaica entire communities depend on the sugar industry, earning a precarious living on old-fashioned plantations. For many the crop even doubles as...

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Overview

What is life like on a sugar plantation at the end of the twentieth century? What will happen if the sugar industry collapses? How do the poverty-stricken cane cutters of rural Jamaica fit into the global economy? And how does sugar make its way from the canefield to our kitchens?

The Carribean's history is inseparable from sugar. In Jamaica entire communities depend on the sugar industry, earning a precarious living on old-fashioned plantations. For many the crop even doubles as currency. But as the advanced nations reassess the economic policies that keep sugar alive, time is running out for the island's industry.

King Sugar looks at the world sugar business, identifying the key playersproducers, markets and transnational companiesand explaining how the industry works. It explores the economics and politics of trading agreements, the mysteries of the futures market and the technology of sugar production. Based on interviews with traders, buyers and producers, it provides a unique look at the history of this commodity.

King Sugar also looks in detail at how ordinary people fit into this global industry. Through interviews with workers on a plantation she provides a vivid picture of producers and the crises they face. The book finally assesses the future of sugar, both in Jamaica and the wider world, and considers the options for those still ruled by "King Sugar."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Harrison's examination of the Caribbean sugar industry straddles the line between a journalistic and a scholarly approach...Unique characteristics of the book are the personal vignettes and interviews with plantation workers, producers, traders, and buyers."

-Choice,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814736340
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2001
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michele Harrison is a researcher at the University of Cardiff.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: From Caribbean Sugarmill to Global Supermarket 1
Ch. 1 Living with the Sugar Legacy: Life on a Jamaican plantation 7
Ch. 2 Sugar as a Commodity 38
Ch. 3 Turning Cane into Cash: Sugar as Big Business 63
Ch. 4 Sugar and Strife: Europe and the Evolution of the Caribbean Sugar Industry 90
Ch. 5 Sugar in the Twentieth Century. The King is dead! Long live the King! 115
Ch. 6 Bitter Future? Prospects for Change 148
Bibliography 160
Index 165
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