Summary of Sweet and Low

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Sweet and Low book summary


8 Overall

6 Applicability

7 Innovation

9 Style


This very unusual, literary corporate biography is written from a unique vantage point: Author Rich Cohen’s family members are the protagonists. The corporate owners and inventors of Sweet’N Low are his grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. The other driving force here is the story itself, a thick syrup of invention, feuding, a loving family, criminal graft, federal investigation, Brooklyn, America’s obsession with dieting and an immigrant saga. Since this is also the history of Cohen’s relatives, he has unique insights into the motivations, emotions and feelings behind the corporate decisions that shaped how a fortune was made, disputed and distributed. The story, which flows loosely between time periods and subjects, is an excellent corporate biography, particularly when it covers the dangers of running a family business. The story has all the cinematic elements of a dark comedy. getAbstract recommends it to business and recreational readers for its interesting journalistic storytelling, and its insightful presentation of the family and corporate dynamics hidden inside that familiar little pink packet.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Ben Eisenstadt invented Sweet’N Low, gained a fortune and disinherited part of his family;
  • How the second generation mismanaged the family company; and
  • How sugar substitutes took over most of the sugar market.

About the Author

Rich Cohen is the author of Tough Jews, The Avengers, The Record Men and the memoir Lake Effect. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, and he is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone.



Hi, Sweetie
America’s obsession with dieting began in Brooklyn. That may seem like an odd place, but both diet cola and the popular sugar substitute, Sweet’N Low, were invented in this New York City borough. Brooklyn became the locus of these industries because of its entrepreneurial spirit...

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