Synopses & Reviews
Youll never think the same way about your morning cup of coffee.” Mark McClusky, editor in chief of Wired.com and author of Faster, Higher, Stronger
Journalist Murray Carpenter has been under the influence of a drug for nearly three decades. And hes in good company, because chances are youre hooked, too. Humans have used caffeine for thousands of years. A bitter white powder in its most essential form, a tablespoon of it would kill even the most habituated user. This addictive, largely unregulated substance is everywherein places youd expect (like coffee and chocolate) and places you wouldnt (like chewing gum and fruit juice), and Carpenter reveals its impact on soldiers, athletes, and even children. It can make you stronger, faster, and more alert, but its not perfect, and its role in health concerns like obesity and anxiety will surprise you.
Making stops at the coffee farms of central Guatemala, a synthetic caffeine factory in China, and an energy shot bottler in New Jersey, among numerous other locales around the globe, Caffeinated exposes the high-stakes but murky world of caffeine, drawing on cutting-edge science and larger-than-life characters to offer an unprecedented understanding of Americas favorite drug.
offers a fascinating, often disturbing look at America's favorite recreational drug. The book is another reminder that some people will do just about anything to make money--at the expense of our health." —Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation
and Command and Control
"In his quest to understand our unique relationship with caffeine, Murray Carpenter leads us on a romp through history and tours of Colombian coffee fields, Chinese tea lounges, and a factory that pumps out synthetic caffeine for soft drinks." --Mother Jones
"The book is anything but preachy, yet along with acknowledging caffeine's benefits, Carpenter bluntly addresses its dangers, which can include anxiety, panic attacks, disrupted sleep and, if taken in large doses, even death. Caffeinated highlights not just the physiological downsides of caffeine but the problems that regulators face in trying to curb what he calls 'an industry running wild." —Scientific American
"A tenaciously researched look into the physiology, psychology and commerce of caffeine." —The New York Post
“I dont even drink coffee, but I found Caffeinated enlivening, with just the right overtones of sweet and bitter. Weaving together history, law and science, Carpenter makes a compelling case that most of us are addicted to a brilliantly marketed drug disguised as a mellow morning ritual. Fascinating, disturbing, to be savored.” —Florence Williams, author of Breasts
"As Murray Carpenter makes clear in his methodical review, our society's metrics are no match for this substance's nuances, whether among athletes, teenagers, experimental subjects or the average dependent Joe." —The New York Times
“Riding a buzz clearly generated by its subject, Murray Carpenter's Caffeinated takes readers around the world on a journey that brings humanity's favorite drug to life, in all its glory and grime. You'll never think the same way about your morning cup of coffee again.” —Mark McClusky, author of Faster, Higher, Stronger and editor in chief, Wired.com
“Carpenter sheds new light on an old standby.” —Bangor Daily News
“Caffeinated is a surprising exposé of the “caffeine industrial complex,” the industry that markets this substance in every form it can. This book compellingly argues that the health hazards of excessive caffeine intake need more attention and better regulation. Im convinced. You will be too.” —Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health, New York University, and author of What to Eat
“A readable guide to this ubiquitous but misunderstood substance." —Concord Monitor
"Carpenter's entertaining narrative dissects caffeine's circuitous route into consumer culture and its tenacious hold on the human mind and body."
"I'm not sure if Murray Carpenter's splendid book, Caffeinated, will lead you to drink more coffee, or less. But it will certainly make you think about your next cup of joe (or tea or Red Bull) in new and startling ways. Carpenter makes a mighty mountain out of a milligram, weaving together a story of history, science, lore and slick marketing in ways that offer surprising vistas at every turn."—Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum
“Carpenter…leaves no aspect of caffeine unexplored…[He] offers a glimpse of a world where the science behind the chemical fascinates as much as its history enlightens, its regulation (or lack thereof) startles, and its ubiquity in beverages, foods, and supplements disquiets…Eye-opening.”
“The world's most popular stimulant now has a book to match. A double espresso shot of java journalism, Caffeinated brews up a masterly combination of page-turning narrative with deeply researched history and news. From professional athletes to industry insiders, from the coffee plantations of Colombia to the world's largest, most secretive caffeine manufacturing plant in the hinterlands of China, Carpenter spill the beans on America's drug of choice. More eye-opening than a case of Red Bull!” —Dan Hurley, author of Smarter
“Caffeinated might be more of a jolt than your morning cup.” —Examiner.com
About the Author
Murray Carpenter has reported caffeine-related stories for the