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A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom…
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A History of the World in 6 Glasses (2005)

by Tom Standage

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
Fascinating and easy to read. ( )
  blogbrarian | Jul 16, 2018 |
An interesting book picked up at Logan filled with much up to date history and corrective facts on the history of drink. The most enlightening for me was the revelation of the central role wine played in the development of literature, philosophy, and political thought through the ritual wine drinking culture of ancient Greece. This is never mentioned or outlined in the teaching of Humanities. ( )
1 vote JayLivernois | Jul 3, 2018 |
Tom Standage's A History of the World in 6 Glasses examines what was going on in the world as six different drinks were developed and had their heyday: beer, wine, liquor, coffee, tea, and Coca-Cola. It's set in that order, too, taking us chronologically from early civilization to close to the present day. While each subject is worthy of its own full book-length treatment, honestly, shorter examinations provide an interesting lens through which to look back at history.

I think the three most interesting segments are the ones regarding liquor, coffee, and tea. While anyone who remembers history class can probably connect the dots between rum and the large-scale slave trade, I think Standage does a good job of developing both that connection and going into the larger cultural history of liquor. The coffee section details not only the beverage itself, but the role that coffeehouses played in political intrigue, which is something I'd never read about before. And he does a great job tying the British imperialism to the tea trade, which isn't a connection I would have drawn on my own but was really insightfully done.

Nothing about it is particularly revelatory...it did more to pique my interest into looking more deeply into some of the topics it covered than captivate me on its own. But it's a novel way to look at the span of human history, it's well-written, and it's an enjoyable if not mind-blowing read. A good choice for the beach or the airplane! ( )
  500books | May 22, 2018 |
Meh. Would have much rather read individual histories of subjects like the tea trade/East India Company, Coca-Cola, etc. ( )
  Ltwente | Mar 19, 2018 |
A nice historic thread through the six subjects that succeeds in the goal of showing how each drink became very widespread and important. Would have been nice to include odd and obscure drinks that never took off for comparison and to highlight local/regional differences, but overall gives a broader perspective into what's in the cup. ( )
1 vote albertgoldfain | Mar 8, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Standageprimary authorall editionscalculated
Runnette, SeanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my parents
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Thirst is deadlier than hunger.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. Beer was first made in the Fertile Crescent and by 3000 B.C.E. was so important to Mesopotamia and Egypt that it was used to pay wages. In ancient Greece, wine became the main export of her vast seaborne trade, helping spread Greek culture abroad. Spirits such as brandy and rum fueled the Age of Exploration, fortifying seamen on long voyages and oiling the pernicious slave trade. Although coffee originated in the Arab world, it stoked revolutionary thought in Europe during the Age of Reason, when coffeehouses became centers of intellectual exchange. And hundreds of years after the Chinese began drinking tea, it became especially popular in Britain, with far-reaching effects on British foreign policy. Finally, though carbonated drinks were invented in 18th-century Europe, they became a 20th-century phenomenon, and Coca-Cola in particular is the leading symbol of globalization.

For Tom Standage, each drink is a different kind of technology, a catalyst for advancing culture by which he demonstrates the intricate interplay of different civilizations. You may never look at your favorite beverage the same way again.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802715524, Paperback)

From beer to Coca-Cola, the six drinks that have helped shape human history
Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. Beer was first made in the Fertile Crescent and by 3000 B.C.E. was so important to Mesopotamia and Egypt that it was used to pay wages. In ancient Greece wine became the main export of her vast seaborne trade, helping spread Greek culture abroad. Spirits such as brandy and rum fueled the Age of Exploration, fortifying seamen on long voyages and oiling the pernicious slave trade. Although coffee originated in the Arab world, it stoked revolutionary thought in Europe during the Age of Reason, when coffeehouses became centers of intellectual exchange. And hundreds of years after the Chinese began drinking tea, it became especially popular in Britain, with far-reaching effects on British foreign policy. Finally, though carbonated drinks were invented in 18th-century Europe they became a 20th-century phenomenon, and Coca-Cola in particular is the leading symbol of globalization.

For Tom Standage, each drink is a kind of technology, a catalyst for advancing culture by which he demonstrates the intricate interplay of different civilizations. You may never look at your favorite drink the same way again.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:02 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Presents a comprehensive history of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola from ancient times through to the twenty-first century, and discusses their individual importance throughout the centuries to culture and society.

» see all 5 descriptions

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