Thursday, 30 December 2010

A Very Sweet Story

Deborah Cadbury is not just a descendant of the founders of the biggest chocolate brand in the world, but also a bestselling historian. Chocolate Wars is only part family history; in telling the tale of how the chocolate business has moved from the idealistic Puritan principles of its Quaker founders to globalised, profit-driven modern capitalism, Cadbury tells what she calls “a parable of our times”. She narrates the story, too, of the development of the product itself: from an oily, exotic drink that was sometimes dangerously stretched with substances like red lead and veal fat, to the globally mass-produced chocolate bars we are all so familiar with today. Cadbury includes a wealth of detail about the characters and companies, such as Hershey, Mars and Lindt & Spr√ľngli, that drove the creation of the chocolate industry, and the ideals that animated them. This engaging tale, about a product many of us now cannot imagine living without, is an inspired angle from which to portray the development of the global corporate economic culture in which we find ourselves today. Helen