A Short History of Drunkenness

How, Why, Where, and When Humankind Has Gotten Merry from the Stone Age to the Present
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 5 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the internationally best-selling author of The Etymologicon, a lively and fascinating exploration of how, throughout history, each civilization has found a way to celebrate, or to control, the eternal human drive to get sloshed  

Almost every culture on Earth has drink, and where there's drink there's drunkenness. But in every age and in every place drunkenness is a little bit different. It can be religious, it can be sexual, it can be the duty of kings or the relief of peasants. It can be an offering to the ancestors, or a way of marking the end of a day's work. It can send you to sleep, or send you into battle.  

Making stops all over the world, A Short History of Drunkenness traces humankind's love affair with booze from our primate ancestors through to the 20th century, answering every possible question along the way: What did people drink? How much? Who did the drinking? Of the many possible reasons, why? On the way, learn about the Neolithic Shamans, who drank to communicate with the spirit world (no pun intended), marvel at how Greeks got giddy and Sumerians got sauced, and find out how bars in the Wild West were never quite like in the movies.  

This is a history of the world at its inebriated best.

©2017 Mark Forsyth (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely hilarious. Smart and funny.

Thoroughly amusing and well researched book. Loved it. Recommend it widely. The narrator does an excellent job delivering the humor, too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MW
  • 11-13-19

Forsyth never disappoints

I have all of his books and will buy anything he writes! worth a listen

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Humorous and interesting!

I'm a fan of Forsyth's other books, and A Short History of Drunkenness does not disappoint!