Alcohol: A History

Overview

Whether as wine, beer, or spirits, alcohol has had a constant and often controversial role in social life. In his innovative book on the attitudes toward and consumption of alcohol, Rod Phillips surveys a 9,000-year cultural and economic history, uncovering the tensions between alcoholic drinks as healthy staples of daily diets and as objects of social, political, and religious anxiety. In the urban centers of Europe and America, where it was seen as healthier than untreated water, alcohol gained a foothold as ...
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Alcohol: A History

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Overview

Whether as wine, beer, or spirits, alcohol has had a constant and often controversial role in social life. In his innovative book on the attitudes toward and consumption of alcohol, Rod Phillips surveys a 9,000-year cultural and economic history, uncovering the tensions between alcoholic drinks as healthy staples of daily diets and as objects of social, political, and religious anxiety. In the urban centers of Europe and America, where it was seen as healthier than untreated water, alcohol gained a foothold as the drink of choice, but it has been more regulated by governmental and religious authorities more than any other commodity. As a potential source of social disruption, alcohol created volatile boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable consumption and broke through barriers of class, race, and gender.

Phillips follows the ever-changing cultural meanings of these potent potables and makes the surprising argument that some societies have entered "post-alcohol" phases. His is the first book to examine and explain the meanings and effects of alcohol in such depth, from global and long-term perspectives.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Alcohol: A History is well written, entertaining, deeply informative, and thoroughly researched. In this magisterial text, Rod Phillips offers a broad vision and a rich treatise on cultural history. Its focus on consumption as a social and cultural act distinguishes it from books that focus on taste or geography, and it is a profound pleasure to have this much excellent, up-to-date scholarship devoted to a subject that touches all of our lives.--Thomas Brennan, The United States Naval Academy

Rod Phillips has created what will be the standard book on the cultural history of alcohol. A significant contribution.--David Fahey, Miami University of Ohio

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469617602
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/2014
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 398,179
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Rod Phillips is professor of history at Carleton University and the author of A Short History of Wine.
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