I loved learning about the birth of each drink, and not only the birth but the sometimes huge impacts on history each one has had. I was disapointed though that the author wouldn't follow up with a drink. For examle the story starts with beer and moves up through time from there stopping once wine takes over, but I wish he would go back and talk about beer in other times in history not just its birth.
This is the first book I've listened to by Runnette and I though his narration was dry but I have a feeling the narration followed the writing.
Yes. I like books like this, similar to Rats, Lice and History and on how weapons changed civilizations. I thought the premise was interesting, but I think I could have written it myself, that is to say it was a little shallow in my opinion.
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
At first I found my attention flagging during this engrossing book. The few hours are about the development of beer and wine and some of the social customs associated with drinking. As the book progressed I found myself drawn into the history of distillation. The story of rum and how it intertwined with sugar and the markets it created. As the story progressed further it filled in the gaps of how these various drinks played pivotal roles in the world as we know it. A previous book I read, The Spice Trade, went into how the Europeans stole the spice trade from the Asians and Muslims. This explained how England got to be so powerful. They were the first industrial nation and they did the same thing. They colonized large parts of the world for things like tea. They initiated taxes on imports to raise revenue for the government and they installed transport systems wherever they went to increase the efficiency of moving goods from one place to another. Many people complained about the reader. I didn't think he was bad. Perhaps he seemed a bit serious, but globalization is no laughing matter. The book was written in simple, straightforward language and presented well. Like another listener said, it is perhaps a good overview. I find myself compelled to delve further into these vital commodities we imbibe in day after day.
Enjoying audiobooks daily!
So far this year, it was my fave non-fiction book.
All the info about Rum and Tea. It was amazing.
Coke VS Pepsi in the cold war
No. I listened in a week on car rides.
A fun history of beverages. Good times.
I would listen to this audiobook again. It is a fascinating take on the roles played by beer, wine, liquor, coffee, tea, and cola in the development of civilization, religion, politics, imperialism, colonialism, and just about any other ism you want to name.
If you like history told as a story, this is the book for you.
Favorites are histories and mysteries. Once avid reader trying to pick up the pace again later in life.
I learned a lot about the influence of beer, wine, distilled spirits, coffee, tea and cola shaping societies and historical events since the early civilizations. In fact, I am listening to this book for the 3rd time there is so much to learn from it. However, some histories are entertaining and others are more like dry encyclopedia articles and this is the latter. It is serious throughout in language and tone. There are many fascinating things to be learned, though, and these do come through. The reading style is just very direct and matter-of-fact, clean and clear with no distractions, but just as dry in tone as is the book. The 6 major units seem to get more interesting as the book advances, but that is perhaps because the more recent the history the more I am familiar with it already or that I can relate to it better.
Anyway, this book contains lots of fascinating information; in particular I think of the chapters on coffee and how coffee houses were so prevalent in the Arab world in the last millennium and also their importance in the flow of information and the debates on human rights and revolutionary movements in western Europe in the past several centuries.
Definitely worthwhile listening.
Really interesting overview of the history of 6 popular drinks and how they played into cultural history.
However, I was surprised at how harsh/hoarse the narrator's vocal tone was. His pronunciation and prosody was good, but my throat hurt just listening to him. I should say that I am a speech therapist, so it's possible I am more sensitive to this sort of thing.
Still work the listen!
i wouldn't know
i wouldn't compare a book to another book. that is not a fair or accurate way to describe something.
yes, the brief section on the origin of whiskey.
I am an eclectic person who loves to learn.
Absolutely highly amusing and interesting.
I would compare this to Guns Germs and Steel because both look at the bigger picture of history. This book focuses on drinks and their origins. Both take a unique perspective on history and teach in an interesting way. Although the History of the World in 6 glasses was a little more fun and much shorter. A must read!
Very good voice to listen to.
So interesting the history of Coca cola and Pepsi. The politics about where they could sell their product in the world was interesting. Especially since Coca Cola was the drink of World War I.
What a fascinating book! Standage uses 6 major beverages as a hook to explain much of human history. Not only does he describe the history of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea & Coke, but he goes into how each of these sparked & fueled movements that changed the world. This is a refreshing alternative to boring history books that focus on names and dates. The book is extremely well written; I loved the audio version read by an excellent narrator. If you like any or all of these beverages & would like to understand their role in human history, read this book!