More Precious Than Gold: The Story of the Peruvian Guano Trade
David Hollett

About the Author:David Hollett is a well-established, independent scholar and author of ten books, including Passage from India to El Dorado.




Shortly after Peru declared its independence from Spain in 1826, attention began to focus on guano, which, in its greatest concentration, was found on the Peruvian Chincha Islands. This work is most essentially concerned with the guano trade and its impact on Peru, the Peruvian people, South America, and international commerce. Central to the discussion, however, are the dual concepts of abuse and justice, as well as the nature of capitalism. Its thesis is that guano was another commodity central to a history of exploitation, torture, and other human rights abuses that were present in Inca society, worsened by Pizarro’s invasion and occupation, and continued into the twentieth century.

The publication of this work is timely as it comes near the anniversary of the ending of the slave trade by Great Britain in 1807, which was followed by the abolition of slavery in Britain’s colonies in the 1830s. Unfortunately, this decade also marked the introduction of various indentured labor schemes, under which many outrages occurred. Indentured Chinese laborers were brought to the Chincha Islands to work the deposits and were subjected to great cruelty.

Hollett’s wide-ranging and vivid study has drawn on an abundance of maritime records, English-language newspapers, and Parliamentary Papers. It will appeal to all students of Latin American history, British and United States history, those interested in maritime history, and all people concerned about human rights.

ISBN 978-0-8386-4131-6

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