A Global History of Copper, 1830–1980
A global perspective on the demand for and production of copper.
Over the past two centuries, industrial societies hungry for copper—essential for light, power, and communication—have demanded ever-increasing quantities. Born with a Copper Spoon examines how the metal has been produced, distributed, controlled, and sold on a global scale. Throughout history, copper production has spawned its own practices, technologies, and a constantly changing political economy. Large-scale production has affected ecologies, states, and companies while creating and even destroying local communities dependent on volatile commodity markets. Former president Kenneth Kaunda once remarked that Zambians were “born with a copper spoon in our mouths,” but few societies managed to profit from copper’s abundance. From copper cartels and the futures market to the consequences of resource nationalism, Born with a Copper Spoon delivers a global perspective on one of the world’s most important metals.