In this book, Marco Palacios explores the history of Colombia as a coffee-producer, and the implications that coffee has had for its economy, society, and politics since the middle of the nineteenth century. He provides a history of the commercialization of the crop, and relates it to the general evolution of Colombian society, an evolution often determined by coffee even in areas remote from the crop itself. The book also covers the development of the specific institutions that have been set up to manage coffee affairs, and their role in the Colombian state. Since the last quarter of the nineteenth century coffee has been the mainstay of the Colombian economy, and no historian, economist, or sociologist interested in the country can escape its importance; nor can anyone interested in the commodity ignore Colombia. This is the first work on the subject to appear in English.