For God, Country, and Coca-Cola

For God, Country, and Coca-Cola

5.0 2
by Mark Pendergrast
     
 

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For God, Country and Coca-Cola is the unauthorized history of the great American soft drink and the company that makes it. From its origins as a patent medicine in Reconstruction Atlanta through its rise as the dominant consumer beverage of the American century, the story of Coke is as unique, tasty, and effervescent as the drink itself. With vivid portraits of

Overview

For God, Country and Coca-Cola is the unauthorized history of the great American soft drink and the company that makes it. From its origins as a patent medicine in Reconstruction Atlanta through its rise as the dominant consumer beverage of the American century, the story of Coke is as unique, tasty, and effervescent as the drink itself. With vivid portraits of the entrepreneurs who founded the company—and of the colorful cast of hustlers, swindlers, ad men, and con men who have made Coca-Cola the most recognized trademark in the world—this is business history at its best: in fact, “The Real Thing.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Unauthorized'' it may be, but freelance business journalist Pendergrast, granted access to Coca-Cola company files, has produced an entertaining, fair-minded history without much scandal. He traces the roots of ``the world's most widely distributed product'' as a patent medicine, describes the development of the unique ``Hobbleskirt'' bottle and depicts the canny use of advertising, which enabled Coke to ``permeate every aspect of American life.'' He also covers the work of legendary company leader Robert Woodruff, Coke's quasi-military expansion during WW II, the growing competition from Pepsi and the company's ill-fated mid-1980s reformulation of the Coke recipe. If the book doesn't always make for smooth reading, it has many amusing details: lists of the names of Coke imitators (``Revive-ola,'' ``Toka-tona''); the antics of a biology professor who, acting as a Coca-Cola defense witness, ingested bugs marinated in the drink; a hilarious glimpse of football star Mean Joe Greene filming a commercial for which he chugged down 18 Cokes, even though he vomited after the sixth. Photos not seen by PW. Reader's Digest Condensed Books selection. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Coca-Cola is one of the most celebrated products of this century. The trials and successes of Coke and its manufacturer, ranging from its invention to the wars with Pepsi, unfold in a historical narrative that keeps the reader focused and interested. Pendergrast, a business journalist, displays an impressive array of research from several collections and interviews with former company employees. The premise that Coca-Cola has religious undertones is somewhat far-fetched, but the author does an able job of proving that Coke is an American phenomenon. The last chapter, however, would have benefited from editing to make the transition from third to first person flow more smoothly. Recommended for general collections.-- Rebecca A. Smith, Harvard Business Sch. Lib.
Booknews
A scholar and journalist investigating popular vices<-->incest and coffee previously<-->Pendergrast here chronicles the US soft drink from its invention as a cocaine-laced patent medicine in the Gilded Age to its global ubiquity as a symbol of consumer capitalism. To the 1996 edition he has added the original secret formula, 30 early company management lessons, and other tidbits that have been published since. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
David Rouse
Pendergrast's massive documentary on Coca-Cola follows on the heels of Elizabeth Candler Graham's "The Real Ones" (1992). Graham is the great-great-granddaughter of Coke founder Asa Candler, and her book is an understandably nostalgic recollection of family, company, and product. Pendergrast grew up in Atlanta, where Coca-Cola is headquartered, when it was still a company town; he proudly offers this "unauthorized history." His account of the corporate and cultural empire that Coke has become is full of both grudging admiration and sinister implication. This thorough, well-documented, and entertaining book is the best of many on Coca-Cola since E. J. Kahn's "The Big Drink" (1960). While much of Coca-Cola's history has already been told, a lot has happened in the 30 years since Kahn's Coke classic and, additionally, Pendergrast had access to previously unavailable company archives."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465046997
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
05/14/2013
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
560
Sales rank:
765,670
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

Mark Pendergrast was born in Atlanta and is a graduate of Harvard University. A business journalist, he has published articles and reviews in a number of magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, the Sunday Times (London), and Financial Analyst.

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For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grinned and stepped on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really interesting book. I was most interested in learning that Coca-Cola started out as a cocaine infused product. Five stars for author Mark Pendergrast.