Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History (Hardcover)

Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History By Jori Lewis Cover Image
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Winner, James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference, History, and Scholarship

Winner, Harriet Tubman Prize

A stunning work of popular history--the story of how a crop transformed the history of slavery

"A complex story crossing time and oceans" (National Public Radio), Jori Lewis's prizewinning Slaves for Peanuts deftly weaves together the natural and human history of a crop that transformed the lives of millions. "With elegant prose and engaging details" (National Book Award-winner Imani Perry), Lewis reveals how demand for peanut oil in Europe ensured that slavery in Africa would persist well into the twentieth century, long after the European powers had officially banned it in the territories they controlled.

"This informative and compassionate account unearths a little-known chapter in the history of slavery and European imperialism" (Publishers Weekly), recreating a world on the coast of Africa that is breathtakingly real and unlike anything modern readers have experienced. Slaves for Peanuts is "told in rich detail through the eyes of West African men and women" (Civil Eats)--from an African-born French missionary harboring runaway slaves, to the leader of a Wolof state navigating the politics of French imperialism--who challenge our most basic assumptions of the motives and people who supported human bondage.

At a time when Americans are grappling with the enduring consequences of slavery, here is a new and revealing chapter in its global history.

About the Author

Jori Lewis is an award-winning journalist who writes about agriculture and the environment. Her reports have appeared on PRI's The World and in Discover Magazine, Pacific Standard, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. She is also a contributing editor of Adi, a literary magazine about global politics. In 2018, she received the prestigious Whiting Grant for Creative Nonfiction. Lewis splits her time between Illinois and Senegal, and Slaves for Peanuts (The New Press) is her first book.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781620971567
ISBN-10: 1620971569
Publisher: New Press
Publication Date: April 19th, 2022
Pages: 352
Language: English