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Download Sweet and Low: A Family Story Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Sweet and Low: A Family Story Audiobook, by Rich Cohen
3.36 out of 53.36 out of 53.36 out of 53.36 out of 53.36 out of 5 3.36 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rich Cohen Narrator: Rich Cohen Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2006 ISBN:
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Sweet and Low is the amazing, bittersweet, hilarious story of an American family and its patriarch, a short-order cook named Ben Eisenstadt who, in the years after World War II, invented the sugar packet and Sweet'N Low, converting his Brooklyn cafeteria into a factory and amassing the great fortune that would destroy his family.

It is also the story of immigrants to the New World, sugar, saccharine, obesity, and the health and diet craze, played out across countries and generations but also within the life of a single family, as the fortune and the factory passed from generation to generation. The author, Rich Cohen, a grandson (disinherited, and thus set free, along with his mother and siblings), has sought the truth of this rancorous, colorful history, mining thousands of pages of court documents accumulated in the long and sometimes corrupt life of the factory, and conducting interviews with members of his extended family. Along the way, the 40-year family battle over the fortune moves into its titanic phase, with the money and legacy up for grabs. Sweet and Low is the story of this struggle, a strange comic farce of machinations and double dealings, and of an extraordinary family and its fight for the American dream.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kjtryan | 2/20/2014

    " great combo of non-fiction and fiction type story telling, interesting history of artificial sweeteners in usa "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon Bard | 2/18/2014

    " From out of left field, Rich Cohen manages to settle some family scores, hip us to the history of sugar, artificial sweetener and the Brooklyn Navy Yards, introduce us to some characters that are scarily reminiscent of many in my own family AND make us laugh throughout this breezy and likable book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Florence | 2/17/2014

    " This could be subtitled "Jewish Families Behaving Badly". Starting off with a diner in Brooklyn, the family business of packing teabags, then sugar, then saccherine grew into a multimillion dollar enterprise. The author delves into the history of sugar from prehistoric times as well as the history of the Cumberland enterprise, makers of Sweet and Low, in the ubiquitous pink packets. The book also traces the history of Mr. Cohen's family from its immigration to New York City to the final fracturing and disenfranchisement of his mother and her offspring from the family fortune. It's an amusing tale, witty, and quite sad when blood relatives become enemies. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ann | 2/16/2014

    " This is the "hilarious" story of the family of Ben Eisenstat, the founder of Sweet and Low artificial sweetener. If this is "hilarious" I would hate to see the reviews for "Crime and Punishment." The story revolves around the most unlikeable family I have ever read about. The sweetener made a fortune for Ben and his family. His wife, Betty, disinherited the mother and family of the author. The company was infiltrated by criminals. I finished but I never saw anything even remotely humorous or redeeming about the story. I don't even think I'll buy the product any more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 2/15/2014

    " If you're an East Coaster, Jewish or come from a dysfunctional family, you will LOVE this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joel | 2/14/2014

    " Interesting book about a Jewish family in Brooklyn. Guy writes well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 2/8/2014

    " A wonderful family saga - makes you appreciate your own disfunctional family. Very well written - both funny and smart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 S | 2/2/2014

    " Who would have thought there was such a story behind artificial sweetner! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lydia | 1/30/2014

    " I liked this book, I think largely because the family who form the Sweet 'n Low "Empire" were from my old neighborhood in Brooklyn. The story is a bit repetitive but it is fun to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sujata | 1/20/2014

    " Great book, learned a lot about the family, sugar, dieting in America and marketing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mikki (Mrs. Johnston) | 1/9/2014

    " Interesting biography with more than a little bias. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in this house. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara | 12/20/2013

    " Audio book. Very fascinating history of the Sweet-n-Low company, written by the grandson of the inventor of the product. He was also the reader and just made it fun to listen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eva | 6/24/2013

    " Interesting beginning. Gives history of NYC and Brooklyn but then fizzles a bit when discussing the downfall of the company and the introduction of substitute sweetners. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 5/8/2013

    " As someone who loves family histories, this was a great read for me. I have read one other book by this same author and he is a wonderful writer. I am amazed that he actually wrote all this about his own family. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tim Sieber | 2/24/2013

    " Very difficult to read. Did not finish the book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 1/7/2013

    " This book will give you great party chatter for weeks. For example: person responsible for pushing the FDA to approve NutraSweet despite conflicting studies? DONALD RUMSFELD. True story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo Maeder | 9/14/2012

    " I listened to this, read by the author, as an audio book. Outstanding. All true. Gifted writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 5/29/2012

    " There was a good story in there somewhere and a lot of bad editing. The tidbits about Brooklyn and the sugar (and substitute) industry were great. The family intrigue...not so much. He left out too much and it was alternatively confusing and not interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 5/27/2012

    " Interesting history of the development of artificial sweeteners. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracey | 12/27/2011

    " An odd mix of family history/autobiography and history of an industry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 8/13/2011

    " I always enjoy a good non-fiction book. What a screwed up family though. Interesting family and corporate America story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 6/24/2011

    " Really fun. A little light but gives a fascinating inside look at family-owned businesses and a brief but insightful history of sugar and the rise of the alternative-sugar market, as well as a fun look at Brooklyn in the 20th century and how easily the mafia could take hold of a business. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rose | 4/29/2011

    " Good, just not captivating enough. I must have put thus book down 4 times to read (and finish) other things. I especially enjoyed the scientific history of artificial sweeteners, including the Hopkins reference. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 4/8/2011

    " Who would have thought there was such a story behind artificial sweetner! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kimmyh | 2/9/2011

    " In parts it was interesting, but, over-all I just didn't really care. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/3/2011

    " Last book I read in 2010.

    Very interesting and a quick read.

    As the book description reads, it is a good story about a family and the history of artificial sugar.

    I would recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lydia | 9/16/2010

    " I liked this book, I think largely because the family who form the Sweet 'n Low "Empire" were from my old neighborhood in Brooklyn. The story is a bit repetitive but it is fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 6/15/2010

    " As someone who loves family histories, this was a great read for me. I have read one other book by this same author and he is a wonderful writer. I am amazed that he actually wrote all this about his own family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 6/8/2010

    " Extended Family Drama... I loved reading about it. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/31/2010

    " A fun peek into a crazy family tale with a history of artificial sweetener thrown in. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 12/5/2009

    " Just not into this book... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachael | 10/28/2009

    " An enthralling tell-all about the founding family of Sweet N Low. Interesting read for slow days at work. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tim | 10/7/2009

    " Very difficult to read. Did not finish the book "

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About the Author
Author Rich Cohen

Rich Cohen, a New York Times bestselling author, grew up on the North Shore of Chicago, where he died with the Cubs and was reborn with the Bears. He has written numerous books and a host of magazine articles for, among others, the New Yorker, Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and Vanity Fair, where he’s a contributing editor. Cohen has won the Great Lakes Book Award and the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, and his essays have been included in The Best American Essays and The Best American Travel Writing. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three sons but is plotting his return to Chicagoland.