Uncommon Grounds

Uncommon Grounds

The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World

Book - 1999
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Baker & Taylor
Traces the use and popularity of coffee from ancient Ethiopia to the present, describing the effect of the coffee trade and industry on economic, political, and social history

Perseus Publishing
Uncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in Abyssinia to its role in intrigue in the American colonies to its rise as a national consumer product in the twentieth century and its rediscovery with the advent of Starbucks at the end of the century. A panoramic epic, Uncommon Grounds uses coffee production, trade, and consumption as a window through which to view broad historical themes: the clash and blending of cultures, the rise of marketing and the “national brand,” assembly line mass production, and urbanization. Coffeehouses have provided places to plan revolutions, write poetry, do business, and meet friends. The coffee industry has dominated and molded the economy, politics, and social structure of entire countries.Mark Pendergrast introduces the reader to an eccentric cast of characters, all of them with a passion for the golden bean. Uncommon Grounds is nothing less than a coffee-flavored history of the world.

The first comprehensive business and social history of coffee, written by the author of a successful history of Coca-Cola. There are plenty of books for the coffee connoisseur, full of advice about where to find the best beans and how to brew the perfect cup, but none of them comes close to this remarkable story.

Book News
From its beginnings in Ethiopia to the expansion of the Starbucks empire, the author explores the growth and nature of the coffee business. Mainly concerned with the marketing of coffee in the United States, he does touch upon coffee in Europe and social justice and health issues. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 1999
ISBN: 9780465036318
Characteristics: [xxi], 520 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm


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Apr 27, 2015

Overall, this is a pretty good history of coffee, and I appreciate that the author correctly states that Patrice Lumumba was assassinated prior to President Kennedy's administration [the revisionists are forever lying and trying to blame everything on JFK], but then he goes and asserts that Kennedy pressured the Portuguese to use force against the nationalists in Angola - - an assertion I've yet to see concretely validated! Pendergrast gets much of the Guatemala coup correct, stating that Allen Dulles, then Eisenhower's head of the CIA, served several years on the board of the United Fruit Company, and that his brother, John Foster Dulles, then Sec'y of State had represented United Fruit as an attorney, but fails to mention that the chief financial backer and promoter of Eisenhower's presidency, Floyd Odlum, was also the chief investor in United Fruit between 1952 -- 1954 [easily verified by papers in Eisenhower Presidential Library]; also, that union organizers and others were killed after the coup! But still a somewhat decent history of the bean. [Best coffee cities in America: Seattle, Miami and Santa Cruz.]

nnn622 Apr 29, 2013


Jan 30, 2010

There was a TV documentary in three parts that resembled the description of this book. Does anyone remember this three-part series?Is it available in dvd?


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