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Chocolate Wars: From Cadbury to Kraft: 200 years of Sweet Success and Bitter Rivalry
 
 

Chocolate Wars: From Cadbury to Kraft: 200 years of Sweet Success and Bitter Rivalry [Kindle Edition]

Deborah Cadbury
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Review

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‘Beautifully structured and sympathetically narrated… successfully brings together science, suspense and sentiment. Something for everyone’ Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times

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‘Absolutely stupendous. This is history as it should be. It is stunningly written. I could not put it down’ Alison Weir

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‘A wonderful writer who keeps you turning the pages as if her book was a thriller’ The Times

Praise for Dreams of Iron and Steel:

‘A stylish writer [who] describes the splendours and miseries of these wonders in their true colours and with understanding of the ethics and aspirations of their times’ New Scientist

Review

Praise for The Space Race: 'Beautifully structured and sympathetically narrated! successfully brings together science, suspense and sentiment. Something for everyone' Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times 'Fascinating! heroes, villains and victims populate this gripping story' Daily Telegraph Praise for The Lost King of France: 'Absolutely stupendous. This is history as it should be. It is stunningly written. I could not put it down' Alison Weir Praise for The Dinosaur Hunters: 'A wonderful writer who keeps you turning the pages as if her book was a thriller' The Times Praise for Dreams of Iron and Steel: 'A stylish writer [who] describes the splendours and miseries of these wonders in their true colours and with understanding of the ethics and aspirations of their times' New Scientist

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1902 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress (28 Oct 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047DVIAC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent slice of history 3 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover
'Chocolate Wars' has several interweaving strands: the history of one major confectioner - Cadbury; the broader story of the rivalries between different firms and the race to discover new and better ways of making cocoa and chocolate; fascinating 19th century social history and a good slice of Quaker history in to the bargain.

Eminently readable, Deborah Cadbury writes with the pace of a thriller - often leaving a chapter on a 'cliff-hanger' which will be resolved later in the account. The development of the chocolate industry could hardly be made more fascinating and enthralling. With rivalry and competition (the 'chocolate wars') between firms in Holland, the U.K., Switzerland and America this book also sweeps in the fascinating history of such companies as Hershey, Rowntree, Fry, Nestle, Lindt and Mars.

Two thirds of the book covers the period up to the outbreak of the First World War - and this is by far the most interesting period. There is a good exposition of Quaker business values and philanthopy and this, inevitably, covers the establishment of the Bourneville model village and Rowntree's subsequent building of a similar venture at New Earswick in York. The social history aspect is fascinating too and, as a former sales representative myself, I was intrigued by the story of Cadbury's 'travellers'. Initially they had just one man who covered the country from the midlands up to the north of Scotland by horse and on foot! Later in the 19th century they had export representatives who went as far afield as Austrailia on speculative (and successful) missions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DELICIOUS READ 5 Nov 2011
By Doff
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I borrowed this book from the library, simply because Cadbury's is part of my Birmingham childhood, and expecting to flip through the boring bits - there were none.I was spellbound from start to finish and often totally surprised by the bitter wars and the rubbish people consumed in order to "enjoy". the new taste. Of course living in the area did enhance it but I would recommend it to anyone you will not be disappointed - which is why several of my friends will be receiving it for their birthday and Christmas presents.What a disgrace after fighting so hard through the years it had to go to Kraft.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating slice of social history 10 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover
Above all, this book is a fascinating account of a slice of social and economic history. Quakers played a critical role in the development of British industry in the 19th century, bigger than I had imagined. They dominated the emerging chocolate industry, and many others. Not for them the "dog eat dog" philosophy promulgated by Adam Smith a century earlier. As the book says, "the idea that wealth creation was for personal gain only would have been offensive". They were there to serve the community. And to promote social reform. In effect, the Quakers created and ran what we would now call social enterprises. The author skillfully weaves together several stories of Quaker entrepreneurship, chronicling their many trials and setbacks as well as their successes. This book is for anyone interested in the emergence of the liberal ideas that lie at the foundation of our modern welfare state. Equally, the Quaker approach to business has implications for the conduct of companies today. All in all, an easy, enjoyable and illuminating read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sad loss of a British institution 20 Dec 2010
By C. Rucroft VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
As soon as this book came out, I couldn't wait to read it. Having been to Cadbury World, I knew some of it's history, but wanted to learn about it in more detail.

It interweaves the main story about Cadbury (well, it is written by a Cadbury!) and the history of other chocolate manufacturers (Fry, Rowntree, Nestle, Mars etc). It was really well researched and everything flowed really well. Deborah Cadbury quite often leaves you on mini cliffhangers, which are resolved later in the story.

The book made me appreciate how long these companies have been going (over 180 years for Cadbury), which is not something I had considered before. I felt almost proud to have Cadbury as a British symbol, espeically with all the extra work they did outside of running a business. They were far ahead of their time socially, not only with their own staff, but the general public as well. Some of the things they did amazed me (I won't spoil it for anyone but you will understand what I mean if you have read it).

The final chapters focus on the Kraft takeover and they made me feel incredibly sad. It certainly made me realise that not everything you read in the papers is true. The one thing that really angered me was that RBS offered Kraft a loan of 630 million to buy Cadbury and they were 85% British taxpayer owned at the time! Quite ironic really.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend it. It's a book that a lot of businesses could learn from.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 1 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This has to be one of the best books I have read recently for several reasons; it is an unusual subject, it delves into the social history and it is well written.

The books takes us from the humble beginnings of Cadbury and other British manufacturers and brings it right up to date with the take over by Kraft. It shows how the families who founded the business did not just pay lip service to their Quaker religion but actively applied it to every corner of the company so improving the worker's lives although, as is revealed, some were not above a bit of industrial espionage.

It is an inspiring story of how to run a business in a unique and beneficial way but still turn a profit. The story of Hershey repeatedly trying to set himself up in business before he eventually found a winning formula is one of true grit in the face of adversity.

The piece that most surprised me was that Cadbury, and the other UK manufacturers, had salesmen all over the world as early as the 1800s. Plus you'll find out why chocolate eclairs were developed for the Indian market.

Having read this I am now a fully qualified chocolate bore! :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars True altruism
Good insight into the altruistic values of the founders of the Cadbury Empire. Just unfortunate more Victorian Empire building moguls didn't follow their lead.
Published 1 month ago by Pollyanna
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!
This is one of the most insightful books I have read, vastly informative on probably all the well-known chocolate producers. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kit_kat_Lil
5.0 out of 5 stars A detailed history of a great chocolate family and their rivals
I was interested in reading this book as I had heard that the Cadbury family had provided for their employees in a way no-one else did at that point in history. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John Latimer
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate Wars by Deborah Cadbury
A brilliant history of chocolate making from Nestle to sadly the LATE Cadbury. Reading on how Nestle started was worth the cost of the book alone
Published 2 months ago by r.j.smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
A well researched and thoroughly enjoyable book. The history, both industrial and social, was a real eye-opener to an era when everything was manufactured in Great Britain.
Published 2 months ago by T. C. Harrison
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting not only for chocolate lovers
Interesting book on the history of chocolate industry. Great read for chocolate lovers but not only. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ioca
5.0 out of 5 stars The wonders of spiritual capitalism
Reading this book I could see where Roald Dahl found his inspiration for Willy Wonka. They really were mad men who dreamt of making the magical chocolate bar, and in Herschey's... Read more
Published 4 months ago by William Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a good read: an inspiration
I wanted to read about the development of chocolate for a number of reasons. I love reading stories about family businesses, coming from that kind of background, and anyway it's... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Drawing Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars What a story
This book must have taken a huge slice of time to research it was well spent, it was well written ,so much social history came to light I'm amazed at the influence the Quaker... Read more
Published 5 months ago by ChristopherTopps
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of chocolate from the past to the present
Deborah Cadbury gives us a great insight into the pioneering chocolate makers. The Quaker Cadbury family were truly inspiring. Read more
Published 8 months ago by funkybookworm
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Popular Highlights

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&quote;
Ruskin argued for an ethical approach to economic transactions, and said that with wealth comes a moral obligation. A profit, he wrote in words that seem prophetic to this day, is legitimate only if it can be achieved without harming the greater good of society. His beliefs that every labourer should have a wage on which he can live, that all children are entitled to an education, and that land should be used to benefit everyone and not just the wealthy, were considered subversive and outlandish. &quote;
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For the Quaker capitalists of the nineteenth century, the idea that wealth-creation was for personal gain only would have been offensive. Wealth-creation was for the benefit of the workers, the local community and society at large, as well as for the entrepreneurs themselves. Reckless or irresponsible debt was also seen as shameful. &quote;
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One unintended effect of the new legislation was to help to distance religion from business. The need for charitable Quaker businessmen like Joseph Rowntree to provide for their workers out of their own pockets became less urgent. &quote;
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