Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than simply quench our thirst. As Tom Standage relates with easy authority and charm, six of them - beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola - have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history during pivotal epochs. From humankind's adoption of agriculture and the ...
Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than simply quench our thirst. As Tom Standage relates with easy authority and charm, six of them - beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola - have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history during pivotal epochs. From humankind's adoption of agriculture and the birth of cities to the advent of globalization, Standage reveals the intricate interplay of different civilizations by appreciating each drink as a kind of technology, a catalyst for advancing culture. After reading his clever and enlightened book, you may never look at your favourite drink in quite the same way again.
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The History of the World in 6 Glasses is a beautifully written
book about beverages throughout history. It's a great way
to learn history through one topic, which in this case is
hard and soft drinks. It amused and kept my interest from
beginning to end.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-04-11 Standage starts with a bold hypothesis-that each epoch, from the Stone Age to the present, has had its signature beverage-and takes readers on an extraordinary trip through world history. The Economist's technology editor has the ability to connect the smallest detail to the big picture and a knack for summarizing vast concepts in a few sentences. He explains how, when humans shifted from hunting and gathering to farming, they saved surplus grain, which sometimes fermented into beer. The Greeks took grapes and made wine, later borrowed by the Romans and the Christians. Arabic scientists experimented with distillation and produced spirits, the ideal drink for long voyages of exploration. Coffee also spread quickly from Arabia to Europe, becoming the "intellectual counterpoint to the geographical expansion of the Age of Exploration." European coffee-houses, which functioned as "the Internet of the Age of Reason," facilitated scientific, financial and industrial cross-fertilization. In the British industrial revolution that followed, tea "was the lubricant that kept the factories running smoothly." Finally, the rise of American capitalism is mirrored in the history of Coca-Cola, which started as a more or less handmade medicinal drink but morphed into a mass-produced global commodity over the course of the 20th century. In and around these grand ideas, Standage tucks some wonderful tidbits-on the antibacterial qualities of tea, Mecca's coffee trials in 1511, Visigoth penalties for destroying vineyards-ending with a delightful appendix suggesting ways readers can sample ancient beverages. 24 b&w illus. Agent, Katinka Matson. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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