Sugar in the Blood A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire

Review From User :

"Sugar in the blood" is a term often used to describe a certain type of illness. The title is particularly appropriate for this book in that it not only describes a sociological illness, but the product that runs as an influence over a culture, an island, and a family. A person can develop an addiction to sweetness and, in this case, create "acceptable" excuses for the slavery that helps it to prosper.

I was initially confounded by the book because the author's agenda appeared to be all over the place. It's a family history, it's the history of Barbados, it's a sociological analysis of why evil can be easily accepted, it's an exploration of empires and culture, and it is a self-reflection by a writer torn by conflicting feelings. I have honestly never read another book quite like it. However, the result of exploring so many dimensions at one time is an enhanced understanding from multiple dimensions.

There is much here for the casual reader and the historian alike. New life journeys, pirates, raging natural disasters, rebellions, and a devastating portrayal of "the peculiar institution" of slavery that changes everyone involved with it. Although I had read a bit about the Caribbean island history some years ago, I felt that I have a more thorough knowledge now delivered in a manner that was involving, easy to understand, and relatable to many societal issues that we face now.

It is definitely worth the read.

One side note to myself: Is it possible that Ian Fleming was aware of Drax Hall when he was seeking another villain for James Bond


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