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Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol

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Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the tradition of wildly popular histories such as Salt, an intoxicating tour of "the cause ofand solution toall of life's problems": alcohol.

Alcohol is a fundamental part of western culture and an essential element of Christianity. It is the most controversial part of our diet, simultaneously nourishing and intoxicating. We have been drinking as long as we have been human, and for better or worse, alcohol has shaped our civilization.

Drink investigates the history of this Jekyll and Hyde of fluids, tracing mankind's love/hate relationship with alcohol from ancient Egypt to the present day. Along the way it scrutinizes the drinking habits of presidents, prophets, and barbarian hordes, and features drinkers as diverse as Homer, Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, Al Capone, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.

Drink further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States, taking in the War of Independence, the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt, the slave trade, and the failed experiment of national Prohibition. Finally, it provides a history of the world's most famous drinks and the world's most famous drinkers. Enthusiasts of craft brews and fine wines will discover the origins of their favorite tipples. Packed with trivia and colorful characters, Drink amounts to a sloshed history of the world: Better make it a double.

Review:

"With the same ambitious sweep and needle-in-history's-haystack approach of his previous tome on tobacco, Gately takes on all things alcohol. From absinthe to Jay-Z's boycott of allegedly racist Cristal, from Mayan pulque to Pilsner Urquell, he covers the history and the culture of the medicinal and mind-altering product that since at least 8000 B.C. has been part of human civilization. The book's first chapters chronicle the history of fermentation and distillation from early civilization through the late Middle Ages, before the narrative's bulk gives over to alcohol's story since the colonization of the New World. Gately touches on such minutiae as the tableware and music selections onboard the expedition ships that followed Raleigh to America and an exacting chronology of laws enacted to ban the sale of alcohol to Indians. He ecumenically includes historical information from every civilized continent; yet for a book on booze, it's at first drier than straight gin, definitely for those who like their history neat. Like a good party, however, it becomes livelier as the author works in such far-flung cultural materials as the plays of Alfred Jarry and Budweiser's '80s mascot, Spuds McKenzie. In the end, Gately ranges so wide and deep that this may become a classic reference on the subject. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Iain Gately, a British writer who six years ago published "Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization," now turns his attention to booze, a subject, it goes without saying, of similar character but considerably larger import. "Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol," is thorough, informative, briskly readable and witty. It is likely to be enjoyed more by those who take the... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] book to be read with pleasure, best sipped in leisure like good bourbon." Dallas Morning News

Review:

"A grand, always engaging survey of the role of booze in both cultural and social history." Booklist

Review:

"A heady cocktail." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

A spirited look at the history of alcohol, from the dawn of civilization to the modern day

Alcohol is a fundamental part of Western culture. We have been drinking as long as we have been human, and for better or worse, alcohol has shaped our civilization. Drink investigates the history of this Jekyll and Hyde of fluids, tracing mankind's love/hate relationship with alcohol from ancient Egypt to the present day.

Drink further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States, taking in the War of Independence, the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt, the slave trade, and the failed experiment of national Prohibition. Finally, it provides a history of the world's most famous drinks-and the world's most famous drinkers. Packed with trivia and colorful characters, Drink amounts to an intoxicating history of the world.

Synopsis:

A spirited look at the history of alcohol from the dawn of civilization to the twenty first century

For better or worse, alcohol has helped shape our civilization. Throughout history, it has been consumed not just to quench our thirsts or nourish our bodies but also for cultural reasons. It has been associated since antiquity with celebration, creativity, friendship, and danger, for every drinking culture has acknowledged it possesses a dark side.

In Drink, Iain Gately traces the course of humanit‛s 10,000 year old love affair with the substance which has been dubbed“the cause of—and solution to—all of lif‛s problems” Along the way he scrutinises the drinking habits of presidents, prophets, and barbarian hordes, and features drinkers as diverse as Homer, Hemmingway, Shakespeare, Al Capone, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. Covering matters as varied as bacchanals in Imperial Rome, the gin craze in 17th century London, the rise and fall of the temperance movement, and drunk driving, Drink details the benefits and burdens alcohol has conveyed to the societies in which it is consumed. Gatel‛s lively and provocative style brings to life the controversies, past and present, that have raged over alcohol, and uses the authentic voices of drinkers and their detractors to explode myths and reveal truths about this most equivocal of fluids.

Drink further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States, taking in the war of Independence, the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt, the slave trade, and the failed experiment of National Prohibition. Finally, it provides a history of the worl‛s best loved drinks. Enthusiasts of craft brews and fine wines will discover the origins of their favorite tipples, and what they have in common with Greek philosophers and medieval princes every time they raise a glass.

A rollicking tour through humanit‛s love affair with alcohol, Drink is an intoxicating history of civilization

About the Author

Iain Gately is the author of Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization. Raised in Hong Kong, he studied law at Cambridge University and worked in the financial markets of London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

monyabenda, May 24, 2009 (view all comments by monyabenda)
I find that this book is too verbose. which is unfortunate, if stream lined, it could of been a more interesting read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Doug Kubr, July 31, 2008 (view all comments by Doug Kubr)
This book will make you thirsty!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(36 of 45 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781592403035
Subtitle:
A Cultural History of Alcohol
Publisher:
Gotham
Author:
Gately, Iain
Subject:
History
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Drinking of alcoholic beverages
Subject:
Beverages - Wine & Spirits
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Drinking customs
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20080703
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
560
Dimensions:
9.26x6.48x1.73 in. 1.81 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
History and Social Science » American Studies » Drugs and Culture

Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 560 pages Gotham Books - English 9781592403035 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With the same ambitious sweep and needle-in-history's-haystack approach of his previous tome on tobacco, Gately takes on all things alcohol. From absinthe to Jay-Z's boycott of allegedly racist Cristal, from Mayan pulque to Pilsner Urquell, he covers the history and the culture of the medicinal and mind-altering product that since at least 8000 B.C. has been part of human civilization. The book's first chapters chronicle the history of fermentation and distillation from early civilization through the late Middle Ages, before the narrative's bulk gives over to alcohol's story since the colonization of the New World. Gately touches on such minutiae as the tableware and music selections onboard the expedition ships that followed Raleigh to America and an exacting chronology of laws enacted to ban the sale of alcohol to Indians. He ecumenically includes historical information from every civilized continent; yet for a book on booze, it's at first drier than straight gin, definitely for those who like their history neat. Like a good party, however, it becomes livelier as the author works in such far-flung cultural materials as the plays of Alfred Jarry and Budweiser's '80s mascot, Spuds McKenzie. In the end, Gately ranges so wide and deep that this may become a classic reference on the subject. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] book to be read with pleasure, best sipped in leisure like good bourbon."
"Review" by , "A grand, always engaging survey of the role of booze in both cultural and social history."
"Review" by , "A heady cocktail."
"Synopsis" by ,
A spirited look at the history of alcohol, from the dawn of civilization to the modern day

Alcohol is a fundamental part of Western culture. We have been drinking as long as we have been human, and for better or worse, alcohol has shaped our civilization. Drink investigates the history of this Jekyll and Hyde of fluids, tracing mankind's love/hate relationship with alcohol from ancient Egypt to the present day.

Drink further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States, taking in the War of Independence, the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt, the slave trade, and the failed experiment of national Prohibition. Finally, it provides a history of the world's most famous drinks-and the world's most famous drinkers. Packed with trivia and colorful characters, Drink amounts to an intoxicating history of the world.

"Synopsis" by , A spirited look at the history of alcohol from the dawn of civilization to the twenty first century

For better or worse, alcohol has helped shape our civilization. Throughout history, it has been consumed not just to quench our thirsts or nourish our bodies but also for cultural reasons. It has been associated since antiquity with celebration, creativity, friendship, and danger, for every drinking culture has acknowledged it possesses a dark side.

In Drink, Iain Gately traces the course of humanit‛s 10,000 year old love affair with the substance which has been dubbed“the cause of—and solution to—all of lif‛s problems” Along the way he scrutinises the drinking habits of presidents, prophets, and barbarian hordes, and features drinkers as diverse as Homer, Hemmingway, Shakespeare, Al Capone, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. Covering matters as varied as bacchanals in Imperial Rome, the gin craze in 17th century London, the rise and fall of the temperance movement, and drunk driving, Drink details the benefits and burdens alcohol has conveyed to the societies in which it is consumed. Gatel‛s lively and provocative style brings to life the controversies, past and present, that have raged over alcohol, and uses the authentic voices of drinkers and their detractors to explode myths and reveal truths about this most equivocal of fluids.

Drink further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States, taking in the war of Independence, the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt, the slave trade, and the failed experiment of National Prohibition. Finally, it provides a history of the worl‛s best loved drinks. Enthusiasts of craft brews and fine wines will discover the origins of their favorite tipples, and what they have in common with Greek philosophers and medieval princes every time they raise a glass.

A rollicking tour through humanit‛s love affair with alcohol, Drink is an intoxicating history of civilization

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