Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History (Hardcover)
Winner, James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference, History, and Scholarship
Winner, Harriet Tubman Prize
"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" (Pulitzer Prize-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.