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Manual A History of the World in 6 Glasses

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You may never look at your favorite beverage the same way again. I expected this book to be mostly composed of trivia. Instead I was pleasantly surprised with the breath of historical information it provided. I'm relatively knowledgeable of ancient history, but still most of what this book reports was new to me as nearly all historical accounts gloss over the significant impact these beverages have had in shaping their respective cultures.

Thus, this book was very illuminating, well documented, and enjoyable. And the narrator's voice is engaging as well. Highly recommended! Very informative and full of history that people can relate to on a personal level. Great information presented in an easily digested manner. Thoroughly recommend this book. Pleasantly read, researched and written. Not too long, but packed full of information. Every chapter is good. Takes you around the world in a brilliant concept. I have a hard time selecting a highlight.

But the argument that coffee launched the Enlightenment is very thought provoking. Not too much can really be said.


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Either you are the kind of person who likes food history, or history told from creative, specific angles, or you are not. I enjoyed this book, and all the richness of historic information about the importance of the drinks that moved and drove the world. I will never look at a cup of tea, coffee or coke the same way again. I was amazed at the impact these six beverages had on the course of human events. Content rich, very informative. Full of 'ooooh' and 'aaaaah' moments. Great stories to recount over beverages with friends while drinking, you can make uninvited comments about the drink you're sipping and sound like a right wanker In a good way.

I really enjoyed this book, and thought the author did a good job, especially when recounting the origins of wine or beer, in tracing the history of these two drinks. And this book is definitely worth listening to, but my disappointment is with the incomplete nature of the book, mostly in the spirits section. Rum and whiskey are given ample time, but what about vodka's obvious influence on Russia and how did that or did not impact the kind of societies that developed there? Or tequila and Mexico? What about rice spirits in Asian contents, whether sake or something else?

Without touching on these other topics, the work seems slanted to the obvious Western European culture, but we're missing, I assume, some wonderful histories of these drinks in these far flung cultures. I just wish the author would have invested more time in a more comprehensive picture. It seemed a bit of an odd premise, to describe the World's history in terms of 6 drinks, but it worked a treat.

Starting with beer, the author progresses through wine, spirits, coffee tea and coke and weaves it skillfully into the history of civilisation. I learnt a lot.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses Part I Beer

I was surprised that beer arose so early in our history and I was also entertained by countless anecdotes about these beverages: How the British navy was stronger and fitter than its rivals because of the serendipitous use of lime juice to flavour and preserve rum thus preventing scurvey ; how coffee houses in London evolved into institutions such as the Stock Exchange and Lloyds of London; how coke was manufactured in a transparent form and packaged like vodka in the soviet era to be acceptable to the Russian communists. The narrator was pretty good, although he had the annoying habit of rushing the chapter titles so you didn't realise when a new one had begun.

Aside from this, the book was one of my most 'listenable' downloads. A very worthwhile 'listen'. There is a brilliant insight here It is a story that is absolutely fascinating and wonderfully told. This is just the sort of book that relaxes you - interesting, new, original, insightful I could go on, but if you have a notion to listen to this one, just do it.

You won't be disappointed. Narrator pronounces a few things strangely which is a bit annoying, but interesting listen.


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  4. I'll never look at a can of Coca-Cola the same way again! One of the advantages of living in a world where advertisers know what consistency your fecal matter is is that they do throw amazing recommendations at you, if you'll just turn your cranial ad filter off. This is one such recommendation, based on the history kick I've been on for the past 2 or so years. This was great, albeit a bit faster paced than I'd usually like. I would highly recommend this as a gift for your Dad or something. Your audiobook is waiting….

    Read More From Tom Standage

    A History of the World in 6 Glasses. By: Tom Standage. Narrated by: Sean Runnette. Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins. Categories: History , World. People who bought this also bought Wilson Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins Unabridged Overall. White Jr. Editorial Reviews The precursor to his equally excellent book on hunger through the ages, An Edible History of Humanity , Tom Standage here charts the developmental course of beverages and their significance for human progress. Publisher's Summary Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst.

    Critic Reviews "Standage starts with a bold hypothesis - that each epoch, from the Stone Age to the present, has had its signature beverage - and takes readers on an extraordinary trip through world history. What members say Average Customer Ratings Overall.

    Amazon Reviews.

    A History of the World in 6 Glasses by by Tom Standage: Summary and reviews

    Sort by:. Most Helpful Most Recent. Stoker Fun and Informative I expected this book to be mostly composed of trivia. Eric Delicious and Informative Very informative and full of history that people can relate to on a personal level. Greatly Enjoyed Thoroughly recommend this book. SAMA Exciting and unique journey through history I enjoyed this book, and all the richness of historic information about the importance of the drinks that moved and drove the world.

    Joseph Drink Up "This is a fascinating lens through which to view history. Head half full Content rich, very informative. Entertaining but not complete I really enjoyed this book, and thought the author did a good job, especially when recounting the origins of wine or beer, in tracing the history of these two drinks.

    “A History of the World in 6 Glasses”

    Mark Really Refreshing It seemed a bit of an odd premise, to describe the World's history in terms of 6 drinks, but it worked a treat. Alcohol of all kinds has always attracted opposition. This conflict, of course, owes to the fact that people under the influence of alcohol frequently act like idiots. Each of the beverages brought controversy in its wake.

    There were attempts to ban coffee in the Islamic world where its stimulative effect was conflated with intoxication. Coca-Cola became associated with capitalism and American influence, and drew its own opposition because of it.

    A History Of The World In 6 Glasses

    The role of tea in world history is readily apparent. This conflict resulted from the fact that the British were racking up a huge tea bill, but the Chinese had minimal wants for European goods. A large part of this history deals with the Cold War years. While Coca-Cola was developed in the late 19th century, it was really the latter half of the 20th century when Coke spread around the world—traveling at first with US troops. The most interesting thing that I learned was that General Zhukov a major Soviet figure in the winning of World War II convinced the US Government to get Coca-Cola incorporated to make him some clear Coca-Cola so that he could enjoy the beverage without the heart-burn of being seen as publicly supporting an American entity i.

    General Zhukov was perhaps the only person to stand in opposition to Stalin and live the General was just too much of a national hero to screw with. Both Coke and Pepsi wanting access to the large Arab market, and were willing to forego the small Israeli market to pave the way for that access. I enjoyed this book, and think that any history buff will as well. Like Like. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

    A History of the World in Six Glasses

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