Synopses & Reviews
From its invention as a cocaine-laced patent medicine in the Gilded Age to its globe-drenching ubiquity as the definitive symbol of consumer capitalism in the twenty-first century, Coca-Colas dramatic history unfolds as the ultimate business saga. In this revised edition of For God, Country and Coca-Cola, Mark Pendergrast looks at Americas cultural, social, and economic history through the bottom of a green glass Coke bottle and tells the captivating story of the worlds most recognizable consumer product. The tale begins with John Pemberton, a morphine-addicted Atlanta pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola as a hangover cure and treatment for neurasthenia” in 1886, and ends with a company unchallenged in its global dominance, its role strengthened by a successful turnaround after years of mismanagement. In between, a colorful cast of fathers and sons, hustlers and bankers, accountants and would-be movie moguls steered Coca-Cola to its present position, through ups (the introduction of Diet Coke) and downs (the introduction of New Coke). The revised edition covers the many challenges the company has faced in the 21st century, including everything from questions over sodas role in the obesity crisis to accusations that the company had union employees murdered in South America. Pendergrast also explores how Americas love of the soda has also evolved into a kind of consumer religion, as evidenced by the Holy of Holies-like Vault” at the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, where for a $16 ticket tourists can have their photo taken in front of the safe that holds the sacred and mysterious original formula for Coke. And of course, the book still contains that original formula, now with an additional version from the notes of Frank M. Robinson, the man who named and first marketed Coca-Cola.
A NEW YORK TIMES and#147;NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEARand#8221;
and#147;A ripping good story of more than a soft drink or a company, this book is about the whole of America. It may be the greatest American story ever.and#8221;
and#151;New York Observer
and#147;Marvelously entertaining history.and#8221;
and#151;Los Angeles Times
and#147;In For God, Country and Coca-Cola, Mark Pendergrast has written an encyclopedic history of Coke and its subculture, and used Coca-Cola as a metaphor for the growth of modern capitalism itself. His research and storytelling skills are prodigious.and#8221;
and#147;Behind the glitz and fanfare, the bubbly brown beverage has had a tortured and controversy-filled history. It is meticulously chronicled in For God, Country and Coca-Cola.and#8221;
and#151;Wall Street Journal
and#147;A meticulously researched history.... [Pendergrast] aggressively sets the record straight about the birth of Coke, shattering company myths.and#8221;
and#151;New York Times Book Review
For God, Country and Coca-Cola is the unauthorized history of the great American soft drink and the company that makes it. From its origins as a patent medicine in Reconstruction Atlanta through its rise as the dominant consumer beverage of the American century, the story of Coke is as unique, tasty, and effervescent as the drink itself. With vivid portraits of the entrepreneurs who founded the companyand of the colorful cast of hustlers, swindlers, ad men, and con men who have made Coca-Cola the most recognized trademark in the worldthis is business history at its best: in fact, The Real Thing.”
Now fully updated, the classic account of how a bottle of sweetened caramel-colored soda water became synonymous with American capitalism
From its invention as a cocaine-laced patent medicine in the Gilded Age to its globe-drenching ubiquity as the ultimate symbol of consumer capitalism in the twenty-first century, Coca-Colaand#8217;s dramatic history unfolds as the ultimate business saga. In this fully revised and expanded edition of For God, Country and Coca-Cola, Mark Pendergrast looks at Americaand#8217;s cultural, social, and economic history through the bottom of a green glass Coke bottle and tells the captivating story of the worldand#8217;s most recognizable consumer product.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 583-595) and index.
About the Author
Mark Pendergrast, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, grew up on West Paces Ferry Road, once known as and#147;Coca-Cola Row.and#8221; Pendergrast is also the author of Uncommon Grounds; Inside the Outbreaks; Mirror, Mirror; Victims of Memory; Jack and the Bean Soup; and Japanand#8217;s Tipping Point. He lives in Colchester, Vermont.