The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars

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Random House, 1999 - Business & Economics - 366 pages
152 Reviews
Forrest Mars and Milton Hershey built business empires out of chocolate. In this long-awaited history of the candy business, over eight years in the making, former Washington Post reporter Joel Glenn Brenner tells a unique story that is like chocolate itself, a rich blend of many compelling ingredients--in this case, biography and cultural history, investigative reporting and literary journalism. Along the way, Brenner takes us inside a world as mysterious as Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, where industrial spies jockey for inside information as paranoid executives fight an all-out war for America's sweet tooth.
Forrest Mars, often called "the Howard Hughes of candy," was one of the most successful (and private) entrepreneurs in America, a brilliant autocrat who built a unique $20-billion-a-year empire. Milton Hershey was a dreamer who wanted to create not just a company but an industrial paradise, and after making an immense fortune, he promptly gave it all away. To this day, the Hershey company is controlled by a charitable trust and its profits fund the wealthiest orphanage in the world.
What began as a fraternity of small family-owned businesses has grown into a cutthroat industry increasingly dominated by corporate leviathans fighting for shelf space and swallowing their smaller competitors. Joel Glenn Brenner's investigation of this cloistered world is authoritative, eye-opening, and written with deep understanding of and feeling for her subject.

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It's well researched and well written. - Goodreads
... easy to read and very fascinating. - Goodreads
The writing was good for me. - Goodreads

Review: The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars

User Review  - Sarah Winkley Vezeau - Goodreads

Great book! Loved reading about the history of Hershey and Mars. Read full review

Review: The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars

User Review  - Nancy - Goodreads

It's a look inside the real chocolate factories. As I read the book, I kept wanting to eat chocolate. The author tells the stories about how most of our favorite candies came about. A must read for chocolate lovers! Read full review

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Candy froh Strangers
To the MilkyWayand Beyond
Breaking the Hold

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About the author (1999)

JoŽl Glenn Brenner began reporting on the candy business in 1989. She is the first and only journalist ever to gain access to the Mars company, and her Washington Post Magazine cover story on Mars won numerous prizes. She was recognized five times by the Financial News Journalism Reporter as one of the best financial journalists in the nation under the age of thirty. She is a 1989 graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia and now lives in New York. She can be reached at

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