113. A History of the World in 6 Glasses (Tom Standage)

Thursday, January 27, 2011
I love history and am always on the lookout for new, interesting books to read. For me, history is fun and reading about it should be as well. Sure, I want to learn something new but I also want to be entertained. Enter Tom Standage's A History of the World in 6 Glasses.

Standage cleverly examines how six different drinks (in six different time periods) have shaped human history. Beginning with beer and the rise of civilization, he moves expertly through wine and the classical world, spirits, coffee, and tea as Europeans expanded their empires around the world, and ends with Coca-Cola, probably one of the most recognizable corporate logo (next to the golden arches) anywhere in the world. He finishes with an epilogue on what will likely be the next drink to alter the course of history - water.

Each section is divided into two chapters: the first explains the development/discovery of each individual drink and the second looks at the undeniable influence and impact that drink has had on history. Its a fascinating history lesson that appeals to a mass audience. Highly enjoyable and easy to read, Standage's book is a fascinating look at our (sometime) obsession with various beverages and how something so seemingly simple can change the course of human history.

Highly recommended.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

What a clever approach! Sounds quite fascinating, and it reminds me of those books that Margaret Visser wrote about food.

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