A History of the World in 6 Glasses is a nonfiction book which discusses six different beverages that radically changed the world and came to define certain eras in our history. The book is split into six sections: beer, wine, liquor, coffee, tea, and Coca Cola. I found the book to be interesting and the pacing was good. I’d never stopped and thought about how radically these six drinks changed our history. Hell tea was one of the primary motivators for the expansion of the British Empire. There were some sections which were stronger than others, such as the coffee and tea sections.
Human history has been an object of interest for as long as anyone can remember, and it is remarkable how much history a single household object can reveal. Tom Standage’s A History of the World in 6 Glasses discusses six drinks that have greatly influenced human history. These six beverages-beer, wine, spirits, tea, coffee, cola-differ in composition, origin, use, and popularity, but all of them had a deep impact on society. The first three drinks Standage discusses-beer, wine, spirits-are all alcoholic, and the last three-tea, coffee, cola-are all caffeinated. Although both the alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages shaped history, the former category had a larger influence over a smaller realm while the latter group had a less pivotal impact, but influenced the world on a wider scope. The alcoholic drinks mainly affected agriculture, philosophy, and religion, while the caffeinated drinks influenced medicine, technology and commerce. Beer, wine, and spirits are all alcoholic beverages, but more importantly, they all brought about huge changes in early human history. Beer led to the adoption of farming and first written documents, wine brought about commercial farming and promoted Greek ideas, and spirits were the driving force behind the sugar and slave trade and the American Revolution. They were also the staples of everyday life. Because cereal grains were so plentiful, drinking beer became ubiquitous in Egypt and Mesopotamia and even developed as a form of currency. And although wine was first exclusively a drink for the higher class, it soon became widely available
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A History of the World in 6 Glasses is a nonfiction historical journey through humanity’s relationship with drinks. In this book, Tom Standage uses six drinks—beer, wine, hard liquor, coffee, tea, and Coca-Cola—to detail key periods in human history, from Mesopotamia to the Cold War. Each drink that is associated with each time period acts as a symbol for the economic, political, and cultural movements that shaped and influenced the time period.
A History of the World in 6 Glasses
Limited preview - 2009