TASTES OF PARADISE by Wolfgang Schivelbusch

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Synopsis

A look at how humanity transformed its history in its search for rare spices, stimulents, and intoxicants documents the drive for the pleasure substances--coffee, tobacco, tea--that fueled journeys across the Atlantic to the ""new world.""
 

About Wolfgang Schivelbusch

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Wolfgang Schivelbusch is an independent scholar who divides his time between New York and Berlin. His books include "The Railway Journey" (California paperback, 1986), "Disenchanted Night" (California, 1988), and "Tastes of Paradise" (1992). Kelly Barry is a scholar and translator living in Baltimore.
 
Published July 7, 1992 by Pantheon. 3 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History. Non-fiction

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In medieval Europe, he reports, the upper classes spiced their foods and mixed their spices to an extent we would find bizarre--not just to preserve foods and mask spoilage but to form a prestigious link to the paradise envisioned in the fabled East.

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Publishers Weekly

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This social history of pleasure-producing substances covers the Middle Ages to the modern era from the perch of an adroit and amiable Marxist sociology.

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Publishers Weekly

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Schivelbusch ( Disenchanted Night ) touches briefly on the pharmacological properties of coffee, chocolate, tea, tobacco, hashish, opium and alcoholic compounds, but his chief interest lies not in their chemical effect but in what society has construed them to do.

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