Reviews

  • Thoroughly engrossing ... his literary gifts and prodigious research make for a deeply satisfying reading experience studded with narrative surprise. Sedgewick has a knack for the sparkling digression and arresting jump cut, hopping back and forth between El Salvador and the wider world.

    Michael Pollan, The Atlantic
  • Both a curio-shop of forgotten snippets of history and quirky facts - who knew mocha was so called because it was shipped out of a Yemeni port of the same name? - as well as a theory of the modern world ... there is much here to entertain, educate and - dare one say it of a book about coffee - stimulate.

    David Pilling, Financial Times
  • An erudite and engrossing socioeconomic history ... With a forensic grasp of detail, Sedgewick charts the rise of mass-marketing and modern retail strategies through the story of the humble coffee bean ... Yet Coffeeland's poignant message runs wider still. Ultimately, the story of coffee, today's 'unrivaled work drug', is also the story of globalisation.

    Oliver Balch, Literary Review
  • [A] beautifully written, engaging and sprawling portrait of how coffee made modern El Salvador, while it also helped to remake consumer habits worldwide.

    New York Times
  • Meticulously researched, vivid in its scene-setting, fine-toothed in its sociopolitical analysis . . . Coffeeland lays bare the history and reality behind that cup of joe you're drinking.

    Michael Upchurch, Boston Globe
  • How did a cup of coffee become the everyday addiction of millions? In this impressively wide-ranging, personality-filled history, Augustine Sedgewick untangles the routes that carried coffee from the slopes of El Salvador's volcanoes ... To enter Coffeeland is to visit a realm of ruthless entrepreneurs, hard-working laborers, laboratory chemists, and guerrilla fighters.

    Maya Jasanoff, author of THE DAWN WATCH
  • Capitalism has remade the global countryside in radical ways. Coffeeland brilliantly chronicles this most consequential revolution by telling the global history of one family. After reading Augustine Sedgewick's fast-paced book you will never be able to think about your morning coffee in quite the same way.

    Sven Beckert, author of EMPIRE OF COTTON
  • Coffeeland will set a new standard ... an innovative study of work, of the work involved to produce a drink needed by workers to keep working. Sedgewick treats coffee not so much as a material commodity but rather more like intangible energy ... provocative and convincing.

    Greg Grandin, author of THE END OF THE MYTH