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The Coffee Trader by David Liss
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's review
Jul 29, 11

Read in October, 2008

An excellent book recommended by a fellow book club member. It is set in 1659 Amsterdam and is about how coffee was brought to America. The businessmen and traders in London and Europe established coffee houses as opposed to taverns because coffee sobered the mind of man. Beer and wine had been the former beverage of business transactions. The descriptions of the market where the commodities were traded daily are vivid and alive with intrigue and deception. I felt as if I was there in Amsterdam with these people. I had the same feeling when I read Chavalier's Girl With A Pearl Earring in 2003. Same period, same place. Amsterdam must've been a very progressive city at that time. This book also deals with the Jewish race and their place in the market. The Portugese, the Dutch and the Jews are the ones who controlled the market at this time and there are many shenanigans pulled throughout the book as one Jewish trader makes his mark. This is an interesting well-written book.
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