Past Imperfect podcast: Ulbe Bosma, The World of Sugar

Dinyar Patel Discussion

Episode 8 of Past Imperfect features Ulbe Bosma, Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Social History and Professor of International Comparative Social History at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Bosma is the author of The World of Sugar: How the Sweet Stuff Transformed Our Politics, Health, and Environment over 2,000 Years (Harvard University Press 2023).

What can sugar teach us about global history? Plenty, as Bosma demonstrates in his new book. The World of Sugar is a sweeping narrative of how sugar emerged from India and China to conquer the world: generating both enormous riches and endemic poverty, powered by sophisticated networks of capital and technology as well as brutal labour regimes. Bosma examines how the human penchant for sweetness has shaped politics and economics for centuries, laying the foundations for modern capitalism and globalisation.

The episode is accessible here:

Past Imperfect, hosted by Dinyar Patel, is sponsored and produced by the Centre for Wisdom and Leadership at the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, with providing media partnership.