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Mark Pendergrast has 1 media appearance.

Aug
29
Mark Pendergrast
Booknotes, Sunday, August 29, 1999
Mark Pendergrast discusses Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World.

From its discovery on an ancient Ethiopian hillside to its role as millennial elixir in the Age of Starbucks, coffee has dominated and molded the economies, politics, and social structures of entire countries. The second most valuable exported legal commodity on earth, coffee delivers the largest jolt of the world's most widely taken psychoactive drug. Revolutions have been planned, romanced sparked, business deals seals, novels written and friendships cemented over this potent brew. By the author of For God, Country and Coca-Cola, Uncommon Grounds unfolds a panoramic story of epic proportions, a tale of how coffee trees came to girdle the globe between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Grown on tropical mountainsides by poor laborers, coffee beans travel half-way around the world to the coffee bars of the United States, Europe and Japan, where cosmopolitan consumers pay half a day's Third World wages for a good cup of coffee. Coffee has been banned as a creator of revolutionary sedition, vilified as the worst health-destroyer on earth and praised as the book of mankind. Its history provides a window through which to view broader themes of colonialism and culture clash, the rise of mass production, modern-day media and marketing, women's issues and international commodity schemes. It also illustrates how an entire industry can lose focus, allowing upstart micro-roasters to reclaim quality and profits. Mark Pendergrast enlivens his scrupulously researched history with anecdotes, eccentric characters and period commentary that will give readers stories to share-over good cups of coffee-for years to come. An uncommon brew, Uncommon Grounds offers a coffee-flavored history of the modern world. —from the publisher's website (timspalding)… (more)

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