Gum Arabic

The Golden Tears of the Acacia Tree

Dorrit Van Dalen

Gum Arabic

Dorrit Van Dalen

Distributed for Leiden University Press

248 pages | 20 color plates | 5 1/4 x 8 1/4
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9789087283360 Will Publish January 2020 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Gum arabic is a product that has been seen as a symbol of exoticized lands of the “noble Orient” and also a symbol of trouble. The product is made from the hardened sap of varieties of acacia trees grown exclusively in the Sahel, an area stretching across the African continent between the Sahara to the north and the Savannah to the south. From the time of the Crusades, when Europeans purchased it in Arab countries, this natural product has played an ever-growing role in the global economy and is now a common ingredient in foods, sodas, and paints.

In her search for the fascinating history and shifting meanings assigned to gum arabic, Dorrit van Dalen follows the story from Shakespeare to Bin Laden and from the Industrial Revolution to a veteran of a recent coup d’etat in Chad. She shows that its history is linked with empires and exploitation, and that Western Civilization would not be the same without this amber resin.
Review Quotes
Jutta Wimmler, author of The Sun King's Atlantic: Drugs, Demons and Dyestuffs in the Atlantic World, 1640-1730
 “This book provides much background knowledge on an omnipresent but elusive subject and includes surprising additional information and insights, even for someone who has been studying the history of gum arabic for years.”
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from Leiden University Press. RSS Feed