Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire (Vagabonds #4) (Paperback)

Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire (Vagabonds #4) By Max Haiven Cover Image
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'Powerful' - Silvia Federici

Palm oil is a commodity like no other. Found in half of supermarket products, from food to cosmetics to plastics, it has shaped the world in which we live.

In Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire, Max Haiven tells a sweeping story that touches on everything from empire to art, from war to food, and from climate change to racial capitalism. By tracing the global history of this ubiquitous elixir we see how capitalism creates surplus populations: people made dependent on capitalist wages but denied the opportunity to earn them - a proportion of humanity that is growing in our age of racialized and neo-colonial dispossession.

Inspired by revolutionary writers like Eduardo Galeano, Saidiya Hartman, C.L.R. James and Rebecca Solnit, this kaleidoscopic and experimental book seeks to weave a story of the past in the present and the present in the past.

About the Author

Max Haiven is Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice at Lakehead University, Canada. His books include Revenge CapitalismArt after Money, Money after ArtCrises of Imagination, Crises of Power and The Radical Imagination.

Praise For…

'Powerfully demonstrates how, by following the history of a key commodity, we can reconstruct the logic of imperial capitalism: its destruction of land and bodies, its drive to constantly reduce the means of our reproduction, its relentless production of oppressive regimes. The story it narrates is crucial for our understanding of the terrains of struggle and the material conditions of solidarity between different social justice movements'
Silvia Federici

'Jampacked with insights that will surprise and haunt readers, Haiven's arguments about the centrality of palm oil to colonial history and modern life are compelling, persuasive, and far-reaching'
Andrew Ross, author of 'Stone Men: The Palestinians Who Built Israel'

'Whether you're reading this on a screen or a printed page, you're implicated in the global palm oil trade. In this lovely book, Max Haiven takes us on a whirlwind tour of how that came to be, guiding us through the workings of the global engines that have long been lubricated by the grease of empire'
Raj Patel, co-author of 'A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet'
Product Details
ISBN: 9780745345826
ISBN-10: 0745345824
Publisher: Pluto Press
Publication Date: April 20th, 2022
Pages: 160
Language: English
Series: Vagabonds