Monday, December 29, 2014

A Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola

Written by: Ricardo Cortes

First line: One story about the origin of coffee is that of a goatherd, tending goats on a mountainside in Ethiopia.

Why you should read this book: Brought to you by the guy who wrote a level-headed and informative picture book for children about marijuana, this story discusses the world's love affair with stimulants, beginning with the controversial coffee bean but eventually evolving into a discussion of how the Coca-Cola company is basically the world's largest importer of coca leaves, despite the fact that importing coca leaves into America is illegal for everybody else except the people who sell flavoring extracted from the leaf to the Coca-Cola Company. Meticulously researched from declassified Federal Bureau of Narcotic files, this book is unique in both the way it constructs a social history of prohibited substances, and also in that it's still, essentially, a children's book. A perfect present for the ten-year-old skeptic/history buff in your life, the grown-up conspiracy theorist, and anyone who loves caffeine.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You refuse to believe that the government would make any decision that wasn't in the best interest of its people, or that it would ever cater to big business at the expense of the disenfranchised.

1 comment:

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