What is the summary for the book Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History by Sidney Mintz?

Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History is about the cultural and economic history of sugar. Sidney Mintz explains how the sugar industry developed with a particular focus on its role in colonial exploitation. He explains that the sugar plantations were an early form of contemporary industrial production. He also explains how cultural dietary practices and traditions involving sugar shifted throughout history but were always tied to the history of international economic exploitation.

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In Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, Sidney Mintz explains the history of sugar in the context of cultural and economic development. Going back to sugar cane’s roots in New Guinea, Mintz explains how sugar became such a dietary staple today. One of Mintz’s main focuses is sugar’s role in the history of colonial exploitation. In particular, he focuses on European colonialism and how Spain, Portugal, England, and France exploited their colonies’ resources to profit off of sugar production.

Mintz explains how Caribbean sugar plantations emerged from older forms of agricultural production. He also argues that the sugar plantations were an early form of contemporary industrial production under capitalism. Through this connection, Mintz suggests that contemporary capitalism profits off of the exploitation of labor in a similar way to slavery.

Mintz also discusses how the economic and cultural value placed on sugar in Europe shaped rituals and diets. For example,...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 805 words.)

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