Chocolate on Trial: Slavery, Politics, and the Ethics of Business / Edition 1

Chocolate on Trial: Slavery, Politics, and the Ethics of Business / Edition 1

by Lowell J. Satre
Pub. Date:
Ohio University Press


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Chocolate on Trial: Slavery, Politics, and the Ethics of Business / Edition 1

At the turn of the twentieth century, Cadbury Bros., Ltd., was a successful, Quaker-owned chocolate manufacturer in Birmingham, England, known as much for its model village, modern factory, and well-publicized concern for its employees as for the quality of its chocolates. In 1901, the firm learned that its cocoa beans, purchased from Portuguese plantations on the island of Sao Tome off West Africa, were produced by slave labor. While the company engaged in protracted investigations and fact-finding missions, the British press, fueled by eyewitness accounts of brutal working conditions and images of shackled and bloodied slaves, began to level charges of profiting from human misery.

Chocolate on Trial: Slavery, Politics, and the Ethics of Business recounts the events surrounding the libel trial in which Cadbury Bros. sued the Standard of London over the newspaper's accusation that the firm was hypocritical in its use of slave-grown cocoa. Lowell J. Satre's story probes the issues of globalization, corporate social responsibility, journalistic sensationalism, and devious diplomacy at a time when Western industrialized society was beginning to ask whether some cheap goods might not have too high a cost.

Based on meticulous research and written in clear and elegant prose, Chocolate on Trial is the first book about a landmark trial that laid bare the interplay of politics, labor, and social activism in the wake of imperialism and the globalizing economy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821416266
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 07/01/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 808,102
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsix
List of Mapsxi
1Henry W. Nevinson and Modern Slavery1
2The Firm of Cadbury and the World of Slave Labor13
3Portugal and West Africa33
4Evidence Amassed53
5Joseph Burtt's Report73
6Careful Steps and Concern-or Dragging Feet and Hypocrisy?100
7Defending Reputations124
8Cadbury Bros., Ltd. v. The Standard Newspaper, Ltd.149
9The Verdict175
10Humanitarians, the Foreign Office, and Portugal, 1910-1914183
11The Aftermath208
List of Abbreviations231

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