Richard Thompson's Reviews > Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers

Chocolate Wars by Deborah Cadbury
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's review
Jun 10, 14

bookshelves: non-fiction, bumplibrary
Read in September, 2011

Jesse highly recommended this book, and I had thought it might be a good read-aloud, but by half way through the introduction we found ourselves ranting and fuming about the evils of late twentieth century capitalism and decided that this might not be the pleasant light read that we hoped it would be. It is an interesting story — a bit tangled with all the various players: Cadbury, Fry, Rowntree, Nestle, Hershey, and Mars as well as other minor players — but they writing isn't all that engaging. The Quaker connection is interesting given our family link to Quaker culture. The Quaker version of capitalism as embodied by the big English chocolate manufacturers of the late 1800's and early 1900's is much more human, socially responsible and forward looking that the current model, and, of course, by the end of the book stock market greed mongers and short-termers have cannibalised all the ethically oriented family firms like the Cadbury's. Interesting, but kind of depressing in the end.

The book would probably have been much more engaging if I had been allowed to sample some of the products of the companies profiled, but alas...
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