Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol

Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol

Iain Gately

Language: English

Pages: 560

ISBN: 1592404642

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A spirited look at the history of alcohol, from the dawn of civilization to the modern day

Alcohol is a fundamental part of Western culture. We have been drinking as long as we have been human, and for better or worse, alcohol has shaped our civilization. Drink investigates the history of this Jekyll and Hyde of fluids, tracing mankind's love/hate relationship with alcohol from ancient Egypt to the present day.

Drink further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States, taking in the War of Independence, the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt, the slave trade, and the failed experiment of national Prohibition. Finally, it provides a history of the world's most famous drinks-and the world's most famous drinkers. Packed with trivia and colorful characters, Drink amounts to an intoxicating history of the world.

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imitation.” The domestic wine industry did more than create faux champagne. In the same year that Dickens visited Cincinnati, Nicholas Longworth, its richest resident,36 had made a breakthrough in the quest to produce an all-American wine, whose taste was not so vile that it needed to be masked with brandy. Longworth had similar hopes to Thomas Jefferson’s as to the place that American wine might occupy in American society—both as a healthy alternative to whiskey and as an emblem of

More. A Thrilling Temperance Tale, by Maria Lamas (1849), is an exemplar of the commercial variety of temperance writing. It features (a rarity) a female alcoholic who shuts her son in a closet while she goes out on a spree and returns to find that he has eaten himself alive: “I unlocked the clothes room door, and there—oh! there bathed in his blood, lay the mangled corpse of my child—murdered by his mother. There he lay, poor slaughtered innocent! starved! starved! starved! His left arm gnawed

and Michael Jackson issued tasting notes and ratings, and brewers with better scores won customers from their lesser-ranked brethren. The beer gourmandisme awakened by the craft sector also turned Americans on to foreign suds. Many of the new styles had been inspired by German lagers and British ales, and converts to quality beers were tempted to taste the original models of their locally made favorites. In consequence, imported brews led the charge against the bland majors in the second half of

certainly, more than fifty percent”: Ibid., p. 64. 356 “I ALCOHOL INFLAMES THE PASSIONS”: Ibid., p. 65. 356 “From that December day in 1913”: Kobler, p. 201. 357 “comparatively few alcoholics”: John Barleycorn, or Alcoholic Memoirs (1913), Jack London, Signet Classics edition, New York, 1990, p. 17. 357 “let me warm by their fires”: Ibid., p. 36. 358 “talked with great voices”: Ibid., p. 37. 358 “All the no-saying and no-preaching”: Ibid., p. 115. 358 “The trouble I had with the stuff ”:

not sell any thing which tends to impair health. Such is eminently all that liquid fire, commonly called drams, or spirituous liquors. It is true these may have a place in medicine. . . . Therefore such as prepare and sell them only for this end, may keep their conscience clear. . . . But all who sell them in the common way, to any that will buy, are poisoners-general. They murder His Majesty’s subjects by wholesale, neither does their eye pity or spare. They drive them to hell like sheep.”

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