A History of the World in 6 Glasses

Book review by Deane Barker
tags: history, beer
Tom Standage

A fun book about six beverages that have figured heavily in world history:

  1. Beer

  2. Wine

  3. Spirits (hard liquor, basically)

  4. Coffee

  5. Tea

  6. Soft drinks

Each of these have influenced the world enormously in different ways. The world grew up around these drinks –

Example: tea played heavily in both the American Revolution and the British occupation of Hong Kong for 100 years. The book examines the history behind tea as a economic tool – how governments angered people by taxing it, and how it was used as currency in the opium trade.

Tom Standage is a great history writer. I also enjoyed his book about the history of the telegraph: The Victorian Internet

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