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The history of a Temptation

“Spice: The History of a Temptation” (2005) is a vivid and original yet unconventional telling of the history of the spice trade that eschews the common framework concerning politics, economics and colonization. The focus is an exploration of the desirable qualities of the wanted scents and flavours of cinnamon, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, mace, and clove. This examination goes through history, myth and architecture, providing an archaeology of spices as told through human impulses, temped by the allure of the exotic. This way, the world’s history is told through the lens of the history of a single class of commodities.

Jack Turner is an Australian non-fiction writer, academic and television documentary host. His academic work concerns mainly international studies history. Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1968, Turner received his B.A. in Classical Studies from Melbourne University and his Ph.D. in International Relations from Oxford. He was both a Rhodes Scholar and MacArthur Foundation Junior Research Fellow. His book “Spice: The History of a Temptation” (2005) is his first foray as a published author.