For many, the Yucatán Peninsula is synonymous with Cancún, a haven from daily life for millions of tourists who fly to this Mexican city each year for cocktails and sun. However, John Gust and Jennifer Mathews want to take us on a different journey to unveil the labor histories that have made up life on the Yucatán from the sixteenth century, arguing that sugar and rum are crucial to this journey. Sugarcane and Rum reminds us that the peninsula has been home to many Maya natives, as well as Chinese, Italians, and other migrants, whose labor has been exploited for the cultivation of sugarcane and henequen (the fibers from an agave plant) to make the very coveted rum. In their survey of the labor systems associated with sugarcane cultivation and rum production from the sixteenth century to the present...

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