Synopses & Reviews
How bourbon came to be, and why it's experiencing such a revival today.
Unraveling the many myths and misconceptions surrounding America's most iconic spirit, Bourbon Empire traces a history that spans frontier rebellion, Gilded Age corruption, and the magic of Madison Avenue. Whiskey has profoundly influenced America's political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavor of the whiskey itself.
Taking readers behind the curtain of an enchanting and sometimes exasperating industry, the work of writer Reid Mitenbuler crackles with attitude and commentary about taste, choice, and history. Few products better embody the United States, or American business, than bourbon.
A tale of innovation, success, downfall, and resurrection, Bourbon Empire is an exploration of the spirit in all its unique forms, creating an indelible portrait of both bourbon and the people who make it.
"An illuminating, well-paced narrative that will interest students and imbibers of the wee drap, American-style." Kirkus
"Mitenbuler's prose is relaxed and mellow with a shot of wry; his entertaining, loose-limbed narrative revels in the colorful characters and droll hypocrisies of capitalism at its booziest."Publishers Weekly
"Abundant and even surprising detail is bundled with sharp writing that doesn't hesitate to criticize....This terrific account of the rich heritage behind a classic American beverage is recommended for those who enjoy reading histories of foodstuffs of all sorts." Library Journal
"Bourbon Empire is a lively, rowdy tale of swindlers and smugglers, connoisseurs and craftsmen. Reid Mitenbuler is a talented storyteller whose wide-ranging curiosity takes us to Civil War battlefields and prison cells as well as cornfields and world-famous distilleries. Truly fascinating, and a must-read for whiskey lovers!" Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist
"Bourbon Empire is more than just whiskey history. Mitenbuler demonstrates, with clear, witty and incisive prose, how the drink shaped, and was shaped by, the history of American capitalist society. It is a book that whiskey fans, historians and students of American business will enjoy, and learn much from." Clay Risen, staff editor, The New York Times and author of American Whiskey, Bourbon, and Rye
About the Author
Reid Mitenbuler has written about whiskey and drinking culture for The Atlantic, Slate, Saveur, Whisky Advocate, and other publications. He lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.