By Bruce Robbins
Essay's first paragraph:
One extraordinary attribute of commodity histories, a unexpectedly ubiquitous style of renowned non-fiction, is a definite overkill of their subtitles. A consultant pattern could contain, say, Corn and Capitalism: How a Botanical Bastard Grew to international Dominance; Tobacco: A Cultural background of ways an unique Plant Seduced Civilization; The Potato: How the common-or-garden Spud Rescued the Western World; The global of Caffeine: The technological know-how and tradition of the World’s preferred Drug; Cod: A Biography of the Fish that modified the World; and Mauve: How One guy Invented a colour that modified the World. in basic terms a little bit much less over-the-top than the “changed the world” clause, which additionally looks in contemporary histories of vanilla, condo cats, ping pong balls, dishwashing liquid, and pocket lint, is the trend for two-word titles during which an adjective, often a commodity-identifying colour, is paired with the main coveted of beneficial metals. a few examples are Blue Gold (water), White Gold (rubber), Black Gold (oil), and Green Gold (tea and marijuana). Such titles recommend that every one of those commodities, even the humblest, have the facility to get continents came upon, dynasties toppled, mountains moved. We take a few of these commodities with no consideration, yet them all have replaced the world.
Robbins, Bruce. "Commodity Histories." PMLA, 120.2 (Mar., 2005): 454-463.
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