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Citizen Coke: An Environmental and Political History of the Coca-Cola Company


Blending business and environmental history, Citizen Coke seeks to answer a simple question: how did the Coca-Cola Company acquire the natural resources it needed to become one of the most ubiquitous branded items of commercial trade in the twentieth century? The dissertation shows how Coke satiated its ecological appetite by depending on state institutions and private sector partners that built infrastructure Coke required to extract, at low cost, raw materials for its beverage products. Not just a story of one soda company, Citizen Coke chronicles the making of Coca-Cola capitalism, a new strategy for accumulating profits first introduced in the Gilded Age that involved scavenging natural capital abundance generated by vertically integrated industrial empires, agribusinesses, and government-run utilities.

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