Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World

Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World

by Marcy Norton
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801444934

ISBN-13: 9780801444937

Pub. Date: 10/28/2008

Publisher: Cornell University Press

"Before Columbus's fateful voyage in 1492, no European had ever seen, much less tasted, tobacco or chocolate. Initially dismissed as dry leaves and an odd Indian drink, these two commodities came to conquer Europe on a scale unsurpassed by any other American resource or product. A fascinating story of contact, exploration, and exchange in the Atlantic world, Sacred…  See more details below

Overview

"Before Columbus's fateful voyage in 1492, no European had ever seen, much less tasted, tobacco or chocolate. Initially dismissed as dry leaves and an odd Indian drink, these two commodities came to conquer Europe on a scale unsurpassed by any other American resource or product. A fascinating story of contact, exploration, and exchange in the Atlantic world, Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures traces the ways in which these two goods of the Americas both changed and were changed by Europe." "Focusing on the Spanish Empire, Marcy Norton investigates how tobacco and chocolate became material and symbolic links to the pre-Hispanic past for colonized Indians and colonizing Europeans alike. Botanical ambassadors of the American continent, they also profoundly affected Europe. Tobacco, once condemned as proof of Indian diabolism, became the constant companion of clergymen and the single largest source of state revenue in Spain. Before coffee or tea became popular in Europe, chocolate was the drink that energized the fatigued and uplifted the depressed. However, no one could quite forget the pagan past of tobacco and chocolate, despite their apparent Europeanization: physicians relied on Mesoamerican medical systems for their understanding of tobacco; theologians looked to Aztec precedent to decide whether chocolate drinking violated Lenten fasts." The struggle of scientists, theologians, and aficionados alike to reconcile notions of European superiority with the fact of American influence shaped key modern developments ranging from natural history to secularization. Norton considers the material, social, and cultural interaction between Europe and the Americas with historical depth andinsight that goes beyond the portrayal of Columbian exchange simply as a matter of exploitation, infection, and conquest.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801444937
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2008
Series:
1/29/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
334
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps, Tables, and Illustrations

List of Abbreviations

Introduction 1

1 Experiencing the Sacred and the Social 13

2 Encountering Novelties 44

3 Adapting under Colonialism 63

4 Going Native 84

5 Learning from Indians 107

6 Enduring Idolatry 129

7 Commodifying across the Atlantic 141

8 Consuming Rituals 173

9 Monopolizing Vice 201

10 Enchanting the Profane 229

Epilogue: Globalization, Gateways, and Transformations 257

Notes 267

Glossary 321

Index 325

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >