Studies of the Americas

The Nitrate King

A Biography of “Colonel” John Thomas North

Authors: Edmundson, W.

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About this book

William Edmundson examines the spectacular life story of 'Colonel' John Thomas North, also known as 'The Nitrate King,' a mechanic in Leeds who became one of the best-known and richest men of his time. Forgotten in Britain and vilified in Chile and Peru, this is the first biography of a controversial but compelling figure.

About the authors

WILLIAM EDMUNDSON is a freelance consultant and writer living in Recife, Brazil. Previously, William Edmundson worked throughout Latin America and the Caribbean for the British Council, most recently as Director of the British Council in Cuba.

Reviews

'This is a splendid story of a man with great charm, who was an adventurer, buccaneer and speculator and who, in a short and eventful life, rose from a very modest beginning to acquire both fame and fortune This book will make good reading for those interested in a comprehensive story of the nitrate industry'. Viscount Montgomery. Chilean News

'This welcome, well-researched and very readable biography gives a full account of his life and provides a reappraisal of his activities, both in Chile where he made his fortune, and back in Britain where his gifts for self-promotion and his lavish life-style made him a byword This is an enjoyable and full account of Colonel North's life and dealings, academic in detail and soundly researched and referenced, but written in an easy, lively style.' Eveleigh Bradford. The Thoresby Society, Leeds

"Well-written . . . and contributes new information about North's life and the relation of that life to the economic development of Chile." - Michael Monteón, Professor of History, University of California, San Diego

"A revealing, entertaining, and long-needed biography of one of the nineteenth-century's most flamboyant and controversial international capitalists - 'Colonel' John Thomas North. Edmundson adeptly exploits previously unknown archival materials, the contemporary press, and a vast academic literature on the nitrate industry and Chilean politics to bring the 'Colonel' back to life in all his complexity." - Brian Loveman, Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, San Diego State University

"The author's research, conscientiously carried out in English archives, and the collaboration of experts in information and of libraries, not only proves the seriousness of Edmundson's work, but also the tireless idea of unraveling the life and actions of North in Chile and in other countries where he made investments." 'El regresso de John Thomas North,' Diario 21, Iquique, Chile. May 2, 2011 (trans.), Dr. Pedro Bravo-Elizondo (Ret.), Professor of Latin American Literature, Wichita State University.

'Edmundson's lively style, the many illustrations and some entertaining anecdotes make for a good read.' - Journal of Latin American Studies


Table of contents (11 chapters)

Table of contents (11 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-6

    Edmundson, William

  • We Had Adventures of All Sorts

    Pages 7-14

    Edmundson, William

  • I Was Better Acquainted Than Any Other Foreigner

    Pages 15-23

    Edmundson, William

  • Don Juan Tomás North

    Pages 25-36

    Edmundson, William

  • The Nitrate King

    Pages 37-57

    Edmundson, William

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for Brazil (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-11879-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for Brazil
  • ISBN 978-0-230-11280-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $79.99
price for Brazil
  • ISBN 978-1-349-29475-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Nitrate King
Book Subtitle
A Biography of “Colonel” John Thomas North
Authors
Series Title
Studies of the Americas
Copyright
2011
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
William Edmundson
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-11879-9
DOI
10.1057/9780230118799
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-11280-3
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-29475-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXXI, 186
Number of Illustrations
10 b/w illustrations
Topics