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Sugar cane has long been one of the world's most important cash crops, and the sugar cane industry can be regarded as one of the world's oldest industries. The industry involves three basic processes: the cultivation of cane, the milling of the cane to extract the juice and the rendering of the juice into crystal sugar. This book is a geography of the sugar cane industry from its origins to 1914. It describes the spread of the industry from India into the Mediterranean during medieval times, across to the Americas in the early years of European colonization, and its subsequent diffusion to most parts of the tropics. It examines changes in agricultural techniques over the centuries, the significance of improvements in milling and manufacturing techniques, and the role of the industry through its demand for labor in forming the multicultural societies of the tropical world. It is the first authoritative study of the development of the industry, in English, in forty years.