Empire of Rubber: Firestone's Scramble for Land and Power in Liberia (Paperback)
"A well-rendered and -documented tale of exploitation in the
developing world" (Kirkus Reviews) with deep resonance in the present day
In a book Paul Farmer called "a gem of a social history linking two countries stuck in uncomfortable embrace for well over a century," award-winning author and filmmaker Gregg Mitman tells a sweeping story of capitalism, racial exploitation, and environmental devastation, as Firestone transformed Liberia into America's rubber empire.
Scouring remote archives to unearth a story of promises unfulfilled for the vast numbers of Liberians who toiled on rubber plantations built on taken land, Mitman "peppers this history with a wealth of fascinating details and interesting characters" (Foreign Affairs), revealing a system of racial segregation and medical experimentation that reflected Jim Crow America--on African soil.
Called "a brilliant, compelling read" by Princeton scholar Rob Nixon, Empire of Rubber, now available in paperback, provides a riveting narrative of ecology and disease, of commerce and science, and of racial politics and political maneuvering--the hidden story of a corporate empire whose tentacles reach into the present.
About the Author
Gregg Mitman is the Vilas Research and William Coleman Professor of History, Medical History, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An award-winning author and filmmaker, his recent films and books include The Land Beneath Our Feet and Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes. The author of Empire of Rubber (The New Press), he lives near Madison, Wisconsin.