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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 (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The delicious true story of the early chocolate pioneers by the award-winning writer, and direct descendant of the famous chocolate dynasty, Deborah Cadbury

In 'Chocolate Wars' bestselling historian and award-winning documentary maker Deborah Cadbury takes a journey into her own family history to uncover the rivalries that have driven 250 years of chocolate empire-building.

Beginning with an account of John Cadbury, who founded the first Cadbury's coffee and chocolate shop in Birmingham in 1824, 'Chocolate Wars' goes on to chart the astonishing transformation of the company's fortunes under his grandson George. But while the Cadbury dynasty is the fulcrum of the narrative, this is also the story of their Quaker rivals, the Frys and Rowntrees, and their European competitors, the Nestles, Suchards and Lindts. These rivalries drove the formation of the huge chocolate conglomorates that still straddle the corporate world today, and have first call on our collective sweet tooth.

This is narrative history at its most absorbing, peopled by wonderfully colourful characters - the true story of the chocolate pioneers, the visions and ideals that inspired them and the mouth-watering concoctions they created.



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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

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.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047DVIAC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,206 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Deborah Cadbury is the author of seven acclaimed books including Chocolate Wars, The Dinosaur Hunters, The Lost King of France and Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, for which her accompanying BBC series received a BAFTA nomination. Before turning to writing full time she worked for 30 years as a BBC TV producer and executive producer and has won numerous international awards including an Emmy

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This is a good, solid business book. Starting from a discovery - the cocoa bean - a group of entrepreneurs in family-based companies work to innovate, eventually creating the methods to mass produce the varieties of chocolate that we know today. They grow with industrialization, with the accompanying urbanization and affluence that enabled consumers to consume, until they reach enormous proportions, only to become vulnerable to takeover games in the 80s and 90s, when many food groups were consolidated into massive conglomerates. This is the story of many industries in the modern age, so it is a valuable perspective.

The most interesting aspects of the book, at least for me, include the particular value system that made the Quakers into some of the first industrial entrepreneurs: they believed in hard work, devoted themselves to their companies, reinvested their profits more than enriched themselves, and formed a network bound by a religious ideology, exchanging information, critiquing each other's practices, and supporting even competitors, Most interesting, they had ideals that they wanted to put into practice, such as creating a more humane form of capitalism as exemplified in better working conditions, safety, and company-owned domiciles. The spectrum of their concerns - from slavery to discouraging the consumption of alcohol - are extraordinary. These values, the author tells us, informed their every decision and shaped the companies for their first 150 years or so.

As they grew extremely large, particularly during the economic boom after WWII, many of these companies went public, which exposed the family owners and managers to the vagaries of shareholder capitalism. Now, the pressure was on to behave in very different ways, i.e.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
In writing this book, Deborah Cadbury set out to understand `the journey that took my deeply religious Quaker forebears from peddling tins of cocoa from a pony and trap around Birmingham to this mighty company that reached round the globe.' It's an interesting story, peopled with some fascinating characters, and spans almost 200 years from the beginnings of the business in 1824 to the takeover of the Cadbury chocolate business by Kraft in 2009.

In addition to members of the Cadbury family, the people we meet in the book include Henri Nestlé, who experimented with baby formula before becoming an internationally known chocolate magnate, and Daniel Peter (whose baby daughter Rose benefitted from Nestlé's baby formula) who successfully making a milk chocolate bar after experimenting with milk and chocolate for many years. We also meet Rodolphe Lindt, Domingo Ghiradelli, Milton Hershey and C.J van Houten (inventor of the cocoa press).

In the middle of the 19th century, the cocoa bean was almost invariably consumed as a drink. And not a particularly appealing drink: it was gritty and visibly oily. The first chocolate bar did not appear in Britain until 1847 (made by the Fry brothers) but it wasn't particularly appealing either.

The Cadbury brothers, George and Richard, were the third generation of Cadbury tradesman in Birmingham. Their grandfather Richard Tapper Cadbury had sent his son John to London to learn about the cocoa bean. A generation later, George and Richard had created a chocolate company. The Cadbury family were Quakers, as were the other British chocolate families of Rowntree and Fry, and their focus on worker welfare saw a number of innovative workplace reforms.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A sweet and sour event
An excellent book, well researched by a member of the Cadbury family who was as distressed as many others were about the Kraft hostile take-over. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Thermaloy
5.0 out of 5 stars good as described
good as described
Published 2 months ago by Shawn
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Memories of Cadbury
Great read about the development of the chocolate business and the history of the Cadbury family.
Published 5 months ago by Bob-a-Job
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Was not sure how l would like this book but decided to give it a try. I set of at a cracking pace and was amazed how quick l read through the first few chapters. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Marie E. Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent history of Cadbury
Published 6 months ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars it's sad that good intentions ended so badly
A very interesting book; it's sad that good intentions ended so badly. If they hadn't tried to share their wealth things would have been very different.
Published 7 months ago by Deborah Chambers
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than chocolate packed into this book
I started reading Chocolate Wars because of my interest in branding and true band values, but discovered that this is a social history book, a business book, a tale of chocolate... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jane Hamon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book adds to my knowledge of the early chocolate firms, thanks.
Published 9 months ago by william castle
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This book makes you think twice when eating chocolate ( even though I don't live in England) it was very interesting,one gets a great respect for the Fry & Cadbury families, and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by David Whittall
2.0 out of 5 stars Leaves Something to be Desired
Chocolate Wars tells the history of chocolate manufacturer Cadbury, from founding to controversial sale to Kraft. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dr. Simon Howard
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