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Publisher Description

New York Times Bestseller

From beer to Coca-Cola, the six drinks that have helped shape human history.

Written with authority and charm by journalist 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 six beverages that have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of human events: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola.

First made in the Fertile Crescent, beer became so important to Mesopotamia and Egypt that by 3000 B.C.E. it was being used as currency. The main export of Ancient Greece's vast seaborne trade, wine helped spread its culture abroad. Spirits such as brandy and rum fueled the Age of Exploration, fortifying men on long voyages and oiling the pernicious slave trade. Originating in the Arab world, coffee stoked revolutionary thought in Europe during the Age of Reason, when coffeehouses became centers of intellectual exchange. Hundreds of years after the Chinese began drinking tea, it had far-reaching effects on British foreign policy. Carbonated drinks, invented in 18th-century Europe and popularized in the 20th-century, are now a leading symbol of globalization, particularly Coca-Cola.

"Incisive, illuminating, and swift," (New York Times), A History of the World in 6 Glasses shows the intricate interplay of different civilizations in a fascinating new light. For Standage, each drink is a kind of technology, a catalyst for advancing culture. You may never look at your favorite drink the same way again.

May 26
Bloomsbury Publishing
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Customer Reviews

Natalie Conte ,

Highschool student

I am going into my junior year of high school, and for the class I'm taking(Ap world history) we had a summer assignment where we had to choose a book to read from the list we were givin, which had about 15 different choices, then write a 5 page essay. In my mind I was not looking forward to it because history isn't the most exciting thing to read about it. I went through all of the "good" sounding book on the list and didnt like any of them. So even though the name of the book sounded boring because at the time I thought who would want to read a book about dreams. But as soon as I started reading I couldn't stop. I LOVED IT!!!!! I couldn't believe how interesting it was. I would highly recomend this book

Matasano ,

Thoroughly enjoyable

A great enjoyable read. Extensively researched and informative, yet reads like a novel.

Rrrriiiiccccoooo ,

Best History Book

It manages to put all the important world information (that huge textbooks usually use hundreds of pages to explain) in only about/nearly 300 pages

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