A History of the World in 6 Glasses

A History of the World in 6 Glasses

Book - 2005
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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.

Publisher: New York : Walker & Co., 2005.
ISBN: 9780802714473
Characteristics: viii, 311 p. : ill., map ; 21 cm
Subjects: Beverages -- History.
Drinking of alcoholic beverages -- History.
Tea -- History.
Coffee -- History.
Cola drinks -- History.


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Sep 17, 2020

The History of the World in 6 Glasses explains how beer, coffee, tea, coca-cola, wine, and spirits have made a surprising influence on many great historical achievements such as the discovery of agriculture or the spark of a revolution for independence. Author Tom Standage found an amazingly unique way to tell the story of the world through the development and spread of drinks. These commonly known beverages help make learning about each era of human history more enjoyable and exciting.

Being that tea and coca-cola have had such a large influence in my life (though I don't drink coca-cola), it was no surprise how much I loved reading about the historical events that were influenced by these drinks. I can never look at these common drinks the same again, and I am constantly amazed at the detail in this book. Vividly told, learning about history is much more exciting in this new perspective. I definitely recommend anyone to enjoy their favorite drink while reading this book, whether your favorite subject be in world history or not!

Jun 16, 2020

A history of the world in 6 glasses explains the origin story of 6 of the most fundamental drinks in history while it gives a broader reach to the world around them (wine, beer, coca-cola, tea, coffee, rum) Although the theme of the book seems simplistic, it’s the type of book that makes you want to keep reading. I highly recommend this book for history fanatics because it manages to fit the world’s history in six common drinks. It makes you rethink your surroundings because you get to compare the socio-economic aspects that accompanied the drink in the past and present. I was definitely fascinated by this book because you can apply all the text in the real world.

Mar 17, 2019

Great book, really makes you think about all the goods that we take for granted, and the makes you question why each country relates to one another the way they do.

Oct 04, 2017

This book reminds me of another favorite of mine, Last Call by Daniel Okrent. That one's about Prohibition. Both books share the not-too-surprising theme that drinking is as much a part of human history as war and sex. Apparently drinking is so intertwined with our primal urges that, as A History of the World in 6 Glasses recounts, any fluctuation in the commerce of beverages has the potential to literally caused revolutions.

The 6 glasses from the title are beer, wine, spirits et al, tea, coffee and Coca-Cola. It would seem that civilization, at any point in its history, either needs a pick-me-up or is looking to take the edge off.

Sep 06, 2013

June 2014

Sep 03, 2009

Fascinating read- you'll never look at your favourite beverage again. Standage explains how six seemingly ordinary beverages- beer, wine, rum, coffee, tea and coca-cola- have influenced mankind socially, economically, politically and intellectually. Written in an interesting and engaging way. Great book!


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Sep 17, 2020

_sanahi_ thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jun 13, 2018

cartierlx3 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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