Tech Center

Commodity Reading
A Belvedere-Tiburon Library Subject Guide


Salt: a World History
by Mark Kurlansky
Social history of a crystal that has shaped civilization. The author shows how salt has influenced and affected wars, cultures, governments, religions, societies, economies, cooking (there are a few recipes), and foods.
333.85632 Kurlansky 2002

Fast Food Nation: the Dark Side of the All-American Meal
by Eric Schlosser
The industry's drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways.
394.1097 Schlosser 2001

Jeans: a Cultural History of an American Icon
by James Sullivan
Jeans, the ultimate in democratic clothing. Its origins were in Europe--well before San Francisco's Levi Strauss in the mid-1800s. The history of these indgio cotton pants is detailed in tandem with events in American history and culture.
687.1 Sullivan 2006

The True History of Chocolate
by Sophie D. Coe
Written by an anthropologist with a culinary bent, the history of chocolate is told from its pre-Columbian days, spread to Europe by the Spanish and modern manufacture and marketing.
641.337 Coe 1996

Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy
by Pietra Rivoli
Rivoli, an economics professor, looked on as an activist seized a microphone and demanded, "Who made your T-shirt?" Rivoli decided to find out. She interviewed cotton farmers in Texas, factory workers in China, labor champions in the American South and used-clothing vendors in Tanzania.
382.4 Rivoli 2005

Aspirin: the Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug
by Diarmuid Jeffreys
The story of aspirin from the drug's origins in ancient Egypt, use during the great flu pandemic of 1918, to its manufacture by pharmaceutical conglomerates and the marvelous powers still being discovered today.
615.783 Jeffreys 2004

Spice: the History of a Temptation
by Jack Turner
Follows spices across cultures and eras; how foodstuffs can change the flow of history. The use of spices in all their diversity as food enhancers, part of religious rituals and demon slayers.
641.3383 Turner 2004

Uncommon Grounds: the History of Coffee and How it Transformed our World
by Mark Pendergrast
Since its discovery in an Ethiopian rainforest centuries ago, coffee has brewed up a rich and troubled history. Over the years, the beverage has caused revolution, spurred deforestation, enriched a few while impoverishing the many, and addicted millions with its psychoactive caffeine.
641.337 Pendergrast 1999

A History of the World in 6 Glasses
by Tom Standage
From beer to Coca-Cola, the six drinks that have helped shape human history. For Tom Standage, each drink is a kind of catalyst for advancing culture; the resources required to create and distribute the drink changes society and culture.
394.12 Standage 2005

Chocolate: a Bittersweet Saga of Light and Dark
by Mort Rosenblum
This is not a straight history of chocolate, but a series of vignettes where the author introduces the reader to a series of characters deeply immersed in the various aspects of chocolate production.
641.3374 Rosenblum 2005

created October 2006