A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Shaped the Modern World
By Erika Rappaport
Learn how the global tea industry influenced the international economy and the rise of mass consumerism. Tea has been one of the most popular commodities in the world. For centuries, profits from its growth and sales funded wars and fueled colonization, and its cultivation brought about massive changes—in land use, labor systems, market practices, and social hierarchies—the effects of which are with us even today. A Thirst for Empire takes an in-depth historical look at how men and women—through the tea industry in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa—transformed global tastes and habits and shaped the world as we know it.
Erika Rappaport is professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Shopping for Pleasure (Princeton) and coeditor of Consuming Behaviors (Bloomsbury).