"Citizen Coke demostrate[s] a complete lack of understanding about…the Coca-Cola system—past and present." —Ted Ryan, the Coca-Cola Company
By examining “the real thing” ingredient by ingredient, this brilliant history shows how Coke used a strategy of outsourcing and leveraged free public resources, market muscle, and lobbying power to build a global empire on the sale of sugary water. Coke became a giant in a world of abundance but is now embattled in a world of scarcity, its products straining global resources and fueling crises in public health.
About the Author
Bartow J. Elmore teaches environmental and business history at The Ohio State University. For Seed Money, he received the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award and a New America fellowship. He lives with his family in Columbus, Ohio.
[Elmore offers] unaccustomed perspectives on a company whose leading product is a household name around the globe…I doubt the Coca-Cola Co. will much like it. — Marc Levinson - Wall Street Journal
What Elmore does best is analyze how Coke takes advantage of global public works and government interventions to boost its place in world markets…Citizen Coke began as a dissertation, and its points are lucid and logically presented; the language is accessible, and punchy chapter endings propel the story.
— Beth Macy - New York Times Book Review
As the soda wars heat up, this book is an indispensable resource. — Michael Pollan
Coca-Cola is one of the most powerful economic institutions of our time, but its social and ecological impacts remain understudied. Now, in the hands of a talented young historian, corporate capitalism gets the attention it deserves in a careful dissection of the material underpinnings of the world’s most valuable brand. Citizen Coke will cause you to drink less and think more.
— Ted Steinberg, author of Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York
Citizen Coke is a brilliant analysis of Coke’s empire in ecological, economic, and social terms. It allows us to see the contours of an economy based on partnerships between governments and corporations like Coca-Cola. It makes us conscious of the giant ecological footprint of the Real Thing, which impacts the real lives of real people. If you want a deeper understanding of our world today, read Citizen Coke.
— Vandana Shiva, author of Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply
A fascinating, thought-provoking approach to Coca-Cola history through the drink’s primary ingredients—water, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, coca leaf, caffeine—and the glass, plastic, and aluminum that contain them. — Mark Pendergrast, author of For God, Country & Coca-Cola