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Reviews

"By tackling a commodity we think we already know in its political, economic, and cultural dimensions, Jane T. Merritt demonstrates that the true story of tea is more complex and global than readers might expect. The Trouble with Tea is a surprising and detailed look at how the long-term moral debates over tea overlapped with and offered a vocabulary for the politicized debates of the Revolutionary War era."

"Long before Bostonians dumped tea overboard, tea was trouble: as trading companies pushed it and consumers sipped it, tea sparked debates over free trade and dangerous luxuries. With her wide-ranging command of global commerce and domestic politics, Merritt tells a vital tale about how tea shaped our world."

"Merritt has produced an elegant commodity history, one that embeds the American Revolution in its global context and prompts a reconsideration of the early republic’s political economy. Americans famously dumped their tea en route to independence, but Merritt tells the surprising story of how hard they worked to get it back in the wake of nationhood."

"Merritt’s remarkable study of the political economy of tea reveals that this quintessential commodity of eighteenth-century commerce has a great deal to tell us about the relationship between consumer desire, imperial rule, and revolution. Impressively researched and elegantly argued, The Trouble with Tea uses a global framework to investigate how the trade and consumption of tea first united and then divided the British Empire, and how these same forces later led restive Tea Partiers to become nation-building taxpayers. You might think you know where to find tea in the history of America and Britain; this book is here to show you that you need to far deeper than the bottom of Boston’s harbor to get the full story."

"While tea has long been a symbol of the American Revolution, The Trouble with Tea situates the commodity within broader economic and cultural contexts, persuasively demonstrating its role in the expansion of imperial trade and creation of complex consumer rituals long before and after 1776."

"Jane T. Merritt provides a compelling analysis of the economic, social, and political consequences of tea consumption in the American colonies during the eighteenth century."

"This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of the powerful global context of the American Revolution and of late-eighteenthcentury American commercial ambitions and achievements."

"Students at all levels utilising this text will value the appended detailed essay on both primary and secondary sources in addition to the detailed end-notes."

"Merritt's book on tea takes a distinguished place in a growing list of formidable studies of colonial commodities whose histories have global importance: cod, cotton, madeira, mahogany, rum, salt, sugar, and who knows what next."