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» » The Devil’s Milk: A Social History of Rubber
The Devil’s Milk: A Social History of Rubber e-book

Author:

John Tully

Language:

English

Category:

History

Subcategory:

Americas

ePub size:

1988 kb

Other formats:

lit lrf mbr mobi

Rating:

4.7

Publisher:

Monthly Review Press (February 1, 2011)

Pages:

416

ISBN:

1583672311

The Devil’s Milk: A Social History of Rubber e-book

by John Tully


John Tully (Lecturer in Politics and History at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia) pens an excellent, insightful, and supremely readable overview of rubber and its essential role in world civilization

John Tully (Lecturer in Politics and History at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia) pens an excellent, insightful, and supremely readable overview of rubber and its essential role in world civilization Slavery and death under atrocious conditions on the plantations become the first steps toward the hazard and danger for the workers in the rubber factories whose products themselves are instruments of warfare-from machine gun belts to tires-that help to kill many of the very workers who produced them.

In part 4, Tully tackles tropical rubber plantation history by juxtaposing European planters' literature with the much thinner record left by plantation "coolies"

In part 4, Tully tackles tropical rubber plantation history by juxtaposing European planters' literature with the much thinner record left by plantation "coolies". Tully concludes by examining the connections among rubber, IG Farben, and the chimneys of Auschwitz.

But Tully is quick to remind us that the vast terrain of rubber production has always been a site of struggle, and that the oppressed who toil closest to "the devil's milk" in all its forms have never accepted their immiseration without a fight. This book, the product of exhaustive scholarship carried out in many countries and several continents, is destined to become a classic. Tully tells the story of humanity's long encounter with rubber in a kaleidoscopic narrative that regards little as outside its rangewithout losing sight of the commodity in question.

But Tully is quick to remind us that the vast terrain of rubber production has always been a site of struggle, and that the oppressed who toil closest to the devil's milk in all its forms have never accepted their immiseration without a fight. This book, the product of exhaustive scholarship carried out in many countries and several continents, is destined to. become a classic. Tully tells the story of humanity's long encounter with rubber in a kaleidoscopic narrative that regards little as outside its rangewithout losing sight of the commodity in question

Find sources: "John A. Tully" – news · newspapers · books · scholar .

Find sources: "John A. Tully" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (November 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). John A. Tully is an Australian historian and novelist. A Short History of Cambodia: From Empire to Survival, (Sydney and Chiang Mai: Allen & Unwin and Silkworm, 2006).

A Social History of Rubber, is discussed. This article explores the letters of South African feminist writer Olive Schreiner (1855–1920) to illuminate connections and tensions between suffrage movements in the imperial metropole and on the colonial periphery.

That’s my approach in my book The Devil’s Milk. I think you can also say that my novels have broad social and historical dimensions

That’s my approach in my book The Devil’s Milk. I think you can also say that my novels have broad social and historical dimensions. I’m fascinated by the mentality of racism and fascism, for example, and this is something that I hope comes through in my novels, although they are not didactic political tracts. What are the major issues facing rubber workers today, whether in rubber factories or on plantations?

p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Further reflection led me to consider writing an entire book on the social aspects of rubber, for while many books have told rubbers story, most have focused on the aspects of invention and technological progress.

The Devil's Milk book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking The Devil's Milk: A Social History of Rubber as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

John Tully’s The Devil’s Milk is a wonderfully fascinating social history of rubber’s terrors (including slavery and Nazi extermination camps) and pleasures (condoms, among others)

John Tully’s The Devil’s Milk is a wonderfully fascinating social history of rubber’s terrors (including slavery and Nazi extermination camps) and pleasures (condoms, among others). Greg Grandin, author of Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City and professor of history, New York University. John Tully has produced a significant work that demands wide readership, consideration, and debate.

Capital, as Marx once wrote, comes into the world “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.” He might well have been describing the long, grim history of rubber. From the early stages of primitive accumulation to the heights of the industrial revolution and beyond, rubber is one of a handful of commodities that has played a crucial role in shaping the modern world, and yet, as John Tully shows in this remarkable book, laboring people around the globe have every reason to regard it as “the devil’s milk.” All the advancements made possible by rubber—industrial machinery, telegraph technology, medical equipment, countless consumer goods—have occurred against a backdrop of seemingly endless exploitation, conquest, slavery, and war. But Tully is quick to remind us that the vast terrain of rubber production has always been a site of struggle, and that the oppressed who toil closest to “the devil’s milk” in all its forms have never accepted their immiseration without a fight.

This book, the product of exhaustive scholarship carried out in many countries and several continents, is destined to become a classic.Tully tells the story of humanity’s long encounter with rubber in a kaleidoscopic narrative that regards little as outside its rangewithout losing sight of the commodity in question. With the skill of a master historian and the elegance of a novelist, he presents what amounts to a history of the modern world told through the multiple lives of rubber.


Moogura
I live in a world of rubber plantations, sugar cane and cattle on the southern coastal plain of Guatemala. To avoid the noontime sun, I jog in the quiet shade of a nearby rubber plantation. So I thought I should learn more about this crop that is expanding rapidly in this country. And learn I did! After reading this amazingly researched book, I will never again take this commodity or these plantations for granted.

The book begins with the end products, manufactured by an exploitative industry beginning with the Industrial Revolution. Nevertheless, we are indebted to this industry for numerous technological improvements that have shaped our lives by readily providing everything from tires to condoms. The race by the Germans and the Allies to produce synthetic rubber on a massive scale during the second World War because natural rubber was no longer easily accessible, makes fascinating reading.

The author describes the high price in human misery that desperate tappers from the Amazon to Africa, as well as those kept under terrible conditions of debt bondage in the rubber plantations of southeast Asia and Liberia have paid so that modern civilization could progress and make war. I was reminded of similarly cruel conditions that formerly characterized other crops such as sugar cane plantations in Tropical America, cotton and turpentine in the old (and not so old) South and perhaps even America's cheap fruits and vegetables produced with the sweat of migrant laborers.

The book only covers the period until shortly after the end of the second World War in detail. Fortunately, conditions in most rubber plantations have improved since then. At least in Tropical America, rubber is now mostly a crop planted on medium sized farms employing local labor for which they have to compete with other crops. Often plantations are an environmental improvement over the degraded pastures that they replace.

Now as I jog along the rubber trees, I think of how much we owe to all those in the past who have made it possible for the "devil' s milk" to make our lives easier.
Mardin
"We tend to take the superficially humble, black substance [of rubber] for granted, but it contains within it the whole buried world of social and economic relations," so concludes this superb history and so, too, does it begin. John Tully (Lecturer in Politics and History at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia) pens an excellent, insightful, and supremely readable overview of rubber and its essential role in world civilization. Along the way, he takes us to rubber's use in MesoAmerica, its "discovery" by the conquistadors, its centrality to so much of the industrial revolution, its key role in the military-industrial complex, and how this precious commodity (and our reliance upon it) drives the modern world in a mad pursuit of cheaper synthetics. We visit the rubber plantations of the Amazon, of Malaya, of Indochina, of the Belgian Congo. We see the factories and "gummers" of "Rubber Town" Akron, Ohio and their struggle for safe working conditions and fair wages. We witness the frightening collusion between Hitler's Nazi government and IG Farben to build the synthetic rubber plant at Monowitz, Poland, specifically located to take advantage of the slave labor provided by Auschwitz. We come to recognize the common thread throughout--the lust for profit, the coercive laws of competition pushing even more desperate pursuit of new sources of rubber and its alternatives, and the ecological devastation inflicted by the short term business vision behind it.

The picture is not pretty. Slavery and death under atrocious conditions on the plantations become the first steps toward the hazard and danger for the workers in the rubber factories whose products themselves are instruments of warfare--from machine gun belts to tires--that help to kill many of the very workers who produced them. Throughout, the system and its inhumanity driving such extraordinary profit and suffering never overshadows Tully's emphasis upon the humanity of the people experiencing it and their ecological context. Yes, we read about the major figures--B. F. Goodrich, Charles Goodyear, Paul Litchfield, King Leopold II. But Tully also takes us into the lives of coolies and "gummers and the great reformers such as Roger Casement. This is socio-economic history at its best, for it never strays from the fact that this is a story about people, not just rubber, and how rubber affects and alters and determines our relationships with each other. I could not put it down.

A brief note on its literary quality. This book is exceedingly well written with excellent pacing and plotting. Personalities, settings, and events are drawn with vividness. Informed by prodigious research and packed with excellent scholarship, Devil's Milk blends the detailed and the general, the biographical and the historical, the personal and the political, in such a way that reads effortlessly. Kudos to Professor Tully for such fine volume.
Windworker
An incredible account of the extremes of hardship endured by those who worked in the rubber plantations and of the absolute extortion used by the owners and government agencies for whom rubber was such an important commodity. A first class account of man's
inhumanity to many for pure greed.
Gandree
I'm really enjoying this book! Fascinating and engaging. The citizens of Akron should read this book to better understand their city.
Erienan
I needed this for a Political Science class, found it to be very compelling and the contents supported the class material nicely.
catterpillar
This book is on the Rorotoko list. Professor Tully's interview on "The Devil's Milk" ran as the Rorotoko Cover Feature on April 18, 2011 (and can be read in the Rorotoko archive).

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