Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers

Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers

by Deborah Cadbury


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In the early nineteenth century the major English chocolate firms—Fry, Rowntree, and Cadbury—were all Quaker family enterprises that aimed to do well by doing good. The English chocolatiers introduced the world's first chocolate bar and ever fancier chocolate temptations—while also writing groundbreaking papers on poverty, publishing authoritative studies of the Bible, and campaigning against human rights abuses. Chocolate was always a global business, and in the global competitors, especially the Swiss and the Americans Hershey and Mars, the Quaker capitalists met their match. The ensuing chocolate wars would culminate in a multi-billion-dollar showdown pitting Quaker tradition against the cutthroat tactics of a corporate behemoth.

Featuring a cast of savvy entrepreneurs, brilliant eccentrics, and resourceful visionaries, Chocolate Wars is a delicious history of the fierce, 150-year business rivalry for one of the world's most coveted markets.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610390514
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 10/25/2011
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 350,905
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 8.26(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

Deborah Cadbury is a writer, award-winning documentary producer for the BBC, the author of seven books, and a relative of the famous Quaker family that gave their name to one of the world's most famous brands of chocolate.

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Chocolate Wars 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was interesting to read about the history of Cadbury and their rivals. Reading how it was done way back when makes you appreciate what they went through and makes the chocolate all the more enjoyable now.
supersnoop More than 1 year ago
Especially enjoyed the history behind our favorite delicacy, chocolate. I never knew the Quaker religion played such an important role in chocolate. You can learn much by reading this book. I was amazed out how the Cadbury's, et al never lived for personal wealth and their employees came first. The last chapter was not as enlightening to me. I really did not care about the merger, but I was able to see how it changed the role of the English chocolatiers (sic). If you like history and you like food you will like this book.
kaulsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I finished reading this last night. This morning on NPR I heard about Ron Lauder, the heir to the Estee Lauder fortune. He has 4 MILLION shares of Estee Lauder stock. He uses them as collateral against a loan and lives off the loan. He pays no Income Tax since he has no income.Of course this book is not really about corporate greed nor about the wealthiest 1% not contributing monetarily to society, but the end result of hostile takeovers is a downturn in societal well being. I suppose if all things are cyclical, then what goes around will come around and we will eventually see small businesses growing once shouldn't this book have come packaged with a bar of chocolate?
mabith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely wonderful.The author keeps the story moving swiftly, writes in completely chronological order, and writes very well in general. While the focus IS Cadbury, she doesn't neglect the other major firms. Keep in mind that it's not meant to be a history of chocolate, but a history of innovations, rivalries, and how/why the Quaker businesses faded away.Some people have complained that this talks about the Quakers and Quakerism too much, but the English chocolate firms and Quakers are inseparable. That's part of what led them into chocolate making and it influenced every part of how they ran their businesses and what they did with the money.The only thing I disliked in this was that she gave prices in different currencies. It's meaningless to go from pounds to dollars, because I have no idea what the exchange rate was in 1904 or 1947! It makes giving dollar amounts pointless. That's a really minor issue and didn't affect my enjoyment of the book, but that sort of thing just grates on me a bit, because it's so illogical and useless.I read at least two books every week, most of them non-fiction, and this is one of the best I've read in a long time. I highly recommend it. Also, the audio edition is done really well.
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