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Food & Drink: A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

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.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    This looked really fun but I just haven't had the time to put into reading it. :(

    February 25, 2014

  • Marshall

    This was a tough book to get, and I ran out of time to procure it.

    February 24, 2014

  • Susie H.

    In case anyone wants to know how sugar/rum production led to atomic weapons... (quasi-relevant)

    2 · February 11, 2014

  • Kelsey C.

    So beer was first made by some lazy person that left their gruel out. I'm learning so much already!

    1 · February 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Will there be copies available on hold? I didn't see any at the Fremont Library

    January 21, 2014

    • Kelsey C.

      We get them about a month in advance. We now have them in!

      January 28, 2014

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