Game Misconduct (2018); CEO Society (2018); and Cocoa (2018).

The current post is concerned with Game Misconduct (2018); CEO Society (2018); and Cocoa (2018).

I enjoy these books because they explore basic themes that interest many people.

The first book on my list, Game Misconduct: Injury, Fandom, and the Business of Sport (2018), explores sacrifices made by professional athletes in support of fandom.

An excerpt from a blurb for Game Misconduct (2018) reads:

Unlike many critical takes on professional sports, Kalman-Lamb illustrates how the harm suffered by the athlete is a necessary part of what makes professional sport a desirable commodity for the consuming fan. In an economic system – capitalism – that deprives people of meaning because of its inherent drive to turn everyone into individuals and everything into commodities, sports fandom produces a feeling of community. But there is a cost to producing this meaning and community, and it is paid through the sacrifice of the athlete’s body.


CEO Society: The Corporate Takeover of Everyday Life (2018)

The second book on my list is CEO Society: The Corporate Takeover of Everyday Life (2018)

From time to time, I come across memes, metaphors, and stories that are highlighted in the CEO Society (2018), an excerpt from which reads:

But why, in the wake of the failings exposed by the 2008 financial crisis, does the corporate ideal continue to exert such a grip on popular attitudes? In this insightful new book, Peter Bloom and Carl Rhodes examine the rise of the CEO society, and how it has started to transform governments, culture, and the economy.


Cocoa (2018)

The third book (and my favourite) on the list is Cocoa (2018)

Cocoa and chocolate are topics that I’ve been reading about for many years.

An excerpt from Cocoa (2018) reads:

Tracing the cocoa value chain from farms in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, through to chocolate factories in Europe and North America, Leissle shows how cocoa has been used as a political tool to wield power over others. Cocoa’s politicization is not, however, limitless: it happens within botanical parameters set by the crop itself, and the material reality of its transport, storage, and manufacture into chocolate. As calls for justice in the industry have grown louder, Leissle reveals the possibilities for and constraints upon realizing a truly sustainable and fulfilling livelihood for cocoa growers, and for keeping the world full of chocolate.


3 replies
  1. Ron Jamieson
    Ron Jamieson says:

    Hi Jaan:

    I have worked with cacao farmers in both the Philippines and Ecuador as part of an effort to help them realize more of the value from their crops than they can realize from selling cocoa beans, which are a commodity.

    In January, I was training farmers in the Philippines how to make fine chocolate from their cocoa beans. By the end of 2 weeks, they were making chocolate infused with orange zest and milk chocolate using coconut milk instead of cow’s milk.

    In Ecuador, I worked with a client that is an NGO that helps cacao farmers achieve organic certification and that promotes Fair Trade.

    In both countries, the farmers benefit from forming cooperatives so they can pool their resources to not only acquire equipment to make fine chocolate, but to enable them to market their chocolate products.

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Hi Ron:

    I much appreciate your precise and informative overview. The work that you are doing warrants celebration and commendation.

    Accounts such as yours are highly valuable and inspiring – they underline that there is a way to help farmers get the greatest possible financial yield from their crops, and maintain the highest levels of sustainability.



  3. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    A Nov. 25, 2023 BBC article is entitled: “Your chocolate bar – my family’s struggle.”

    An excerpt reads:

    Cacao farming was more than just a job – it was a way of life. My family’s story inspired me to advocate for the rights – and needs – of cocoa farmers in my family’s country, Ghana.
    Many of us enjoy chocolate as a treat, but for the people who grow cocoa beans – in countries like Ghana and the Ivory Coast – their lives revolve around it.

    More than half of this cocoa is exported to European countries. Its export makes up a quarter of Ghana’s foreign exchange earnings – second only to mineral exports.

    More than two-thirds of the world’s chocolate is made from cocoa grown in West Africa, and most of that comes from just two countries, the Ivory Coast and Ghana.


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