A History of the World in 6 Glasses

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Overview

Whatever your favourite tipple, when you pour yourself a drink, you have the past in a glass.

You can likely find them all in your own kitchen — beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, cola. Line them up on the counter, and there you have it: thousands of years of human history in six drinks.

Tom Standage opens a window onto the past in this tour of six beverages that remain essentials today. En route he makes fascinating forays into the byways of ...

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Overview

Whatever your favourite tipple, when you pour yourself a drink, you have the past in a glass.

You can likely find them all in your own kitchen — beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, cola. Line them up on the counter, and there you have it: thousands of years of human history in six drinks.

Tom Standage opens a window onto the past in this tour of six beverages that remain essentials today. En route he makes fascinating forays into the byways of western culture: Why were ancient Egyptians buried with beer? Why was wine considered a “classier” drink than beer by the Romans? How did rum grog help the British navy defeat Napoleon? What is the relationship between coffee and revolution? And how did Coca-Cola become the number one poster-product for globalization decades before the term was even coined?

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Ingenious. . . . [Standage] combines a lively writing style with a wonderful collection of anecdotes. . . . His book sparkles like champagne.”
The Gazette (Montreal)

“A wonderful synthesis of the march of time. Standage has that uncanny ability so rare in a writer to connect the smallest details to sweeping changes in history.”
Financial Post

“Standage’s bright idea really is bright. . . . Far from being frivolous, the author has legitimate points to make. . . [He] manages to be incisive, illuminating and swift.”
The New York Times

“Standage’s historical division works fantastically well. His history of the technology and culture of quenching our thirst is a thought-provoking look at what we drink today and how it offers insight into our past.”
The Toronto Star

“Lucid [and] energetic. . . . In A History of the World in Six Glasses, Standage reaches beyond the commonplace to uncover universal significance. . . . Entertaining [and] thought-provoking.”
Winnipeg Free Press

"Standage starts with a bold hypothesis — that each epoch, from the Stone Age to the present, has had its signature beverage — and takes readers on an extraordinary trip through world history. The Economist's technology editor has the ability to connect the smallest detail to the big picture and a knack for summarizing vast concepts in a few sentences. In and around these grand ideas, Standage tucks some wonderful tidbits — on the antibacterial qualities of tea, Mecca's coffee trials in 1511, Visigoth penalties for destroying vineyards -- ending with a delightful appendix suggesting ways readers can sample ancient beverages."
Publishers Weekly

"Technology historian Standage follows the flow of civilization as humanity guzzles a half-dozen prime beverages. He offers a distilled account of civilization founded on the drinking habits of mankind from the days of hunter-gatherers to yesterday's designer thirst-quencher. History, along with a bit of technology, etymology, chemistry and bibulous entertainment. Bottoms up!"
Kirkus

Praise for Tom Standage:
“Fascination, obsession, inquiry, storytelling, and literary magic at its best.”
—Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World

“Standage is a terrific writer.”
The New York Times Book Review

Janet Maslin
Highlights of this drink's long, checkered history include its early links to quack medicinal remedies, the court case United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, and the way colorless Coke was passed off as vodka by a Soviet military leader who dared not be associated with such a capitalist totem. Coca-Cola's presence in the hot, parched Middle East is seen as no less tricky. As in the book's other sections, Mr. Standage manages to be incisive, illuminating and swift without belaboring his analysis.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Standage starts with a bold hypothesis-that each epoch, from the Stone Age to the present, has had its signature beverage-and takes readers on an extraordinary trip through world history. The Economist's technology editor has the ability to connect the smallest detail to the big picture and a knack for summarizing vast concepts in a few sentences. He explains how, when humans shifted from hunting and gathering to farming, they saved surplus grain, which sometimes fermented into beer. The Greeks took grapes and made wine, later borrowed by the Romans and the Christians. Arabic scientists experimented with distillation and produced spirits, the ideal drink for long voyages of exploration. Coffee also spread quickly from Arabia to Europe, becoming the "intellectual counterpoint to the geographical expansion of the Age of Exploration." European coffee-houses, which functioned as "the Internet of the Age of Reason," facilitated scientific, financial and industrial cross-fertilization. In the British industrial revolution that followed, tea "was the lubricant that kept the factories running smoothly." Finally, the rise of American capitalism is mirrored in the history of Coca-Cola, which started as a more or less handmade medicinal drink but morphed into a mass-produced global commodity over the course of the 20th century. In and around these grand ideas, Standage tucks some wonderful tidbits-on the antibacterial qualities of tea, Mecca's coffee trials in 1511, Visigoth penalties for destroying vineyards-ending with a delightful appendix suggesting ways readers can sample ancient beverages. 24 b&w illus. Agent, Katinka Matson. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Technology historian Standage (The Turk, 2002, etc.) follows the flow of civilization as humanity guzzles a half-dozen prime beverages. First made by nature in prehistory was beer. Finding it good, and more salubrious than plain water, mankind turned brewer. (And so the stage was set for cartoons set in barrooms eons later). From cuneiform beer ledgers, Standage's story hops to Dionysus and the oenophiles of Greece and Rome, who knew as much about the pleasures of the grape as any modern wine snob. Here, we learn the vintage that Caligula preferred. In C-rdoba, distilled spirits formed rum. Allotments of rum, in turn, enhanced the fighting effectiveness of British tars against foreign sailors debilitated by scurvy. The attempt to pay for the recent revolution by imposing federal taxes on independent stills produced the short-lived Whiskey Rebellion in the new United States. Islam eschewed booze, but a sober gift from the Arab world was coffee. In 17th-century Europe, coffeehouses were not only as ubiquitous as Starbucks, they were "information exchanges" where people traded news as "vibrant and unreliable" as that found on a contemporary Internet blog. Tea, which tradition holds was first brewed some 4,500 years ago (our author dates it closer to the first century), became largely controlled, along with opium, by the East India Company. From British tea-time dominance, beverage history goes to that fizzy badge of American hegemony, Coca-Cola. We learn why drugstores once featured soda fountains and how Coke fought Pepsi in WWII. Don't drink the water: throughout history, beer, wine, whiskey, coffee, tea and soda pop were all more potable. Ironically, now that it's bottled and pricey,water seems to making a comeback. Standage offers a distilled account of civilization founded on the drinking habits of mankind from the days of hunter-gatherers to yesterday's designer thirst-quencher. History, along with a bit of technology, etymology, chemistry and bibulous entertainment. Bottoms up! (24 b&w illustrations)
From the Publisher
"Standage starts with a bold hypothesis—-that each epoch, from the Stone Age to the present, has had its signature beverage—-and takes readers on an extraordinary trip through world history." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385660877
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Standage
Tom Standage is the technology correspondent for The Economist. His previous books include The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-Line Pioneers and The TURK: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine. He lives with his wife and daughter in Greenwich, England.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Vital Fluids

There is no history of mankind, there are only many histories of all kinds of aspects of human life.
Karl Popper, philosopher of science (1902—94)

Thirst is deadlier than hunger. Deprived of food, you might survive for a few weeks, but deprived of liquid refreshment, you would be lucky to last more than a few days. Only breathing matters more. Tens of thousands of years ago, early humans foraging in small bands had to remain near rivers, springs, and lakes to ensure an adequate supply of freshwater, since storing or carrying it was impractical. The availability of water constrained and guided human­kind’s progress. Drinks have continued to shape human history ever since.

Only in the past ten thousand years or so have other beverages emerged to challenge the preeminence of water. These drinks do not occur naturally in any quantity but must be made deliberately. As well as offering safer alternatives to contaminated, disease-ridden water supplies in human settlements, these new beverages have taken on a variety of roles. Many of them have been used as currencies, in religious rites, as political symbols, or as sources of philosophical and artistic inspiration. Some have served to highlight the power and status of the elite, and others to subjugate or appease the down­trodden. Drinks have been used to celebrate births, commemorate deaths, and forge and strengthen social bonds; to seal business transactions and treaties; to sharpen the senses or dull the mind; to convey lifesaving medicines and deadly poisons.

As the tides of history have ebbed and flowed, different drinks have come to prominence in different times, places, and cultures, from stone-age villages to ancient Greek dining rooms or Enlightenment coffeehouses. Each one became popular when it met a particular need or aligned with a historical trend; in some cases, it then went on to influence the course of history in unexpected ways. Just as archaeologists divide history into different periods based on the use of different materials — the stone age, the bronze age, the iron age, and so on — it is also possible to divide world history into periods dominated by different drinks. Six beverages in particular — beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola — chart the flow of world history. Three contain alcohol, and three contain caffeine, but what they all have in common is that each one was the defining drink during a pivotal historical period, from antiquity to the present day.

The event that set humankind on the path toward modernity was the adoption of farming, beginning with the domestication of cereal grains, which first took place in the Near East around ten thousand years ago and was accompanied by the appearance of a rudimentary form of beer. The first civilizations arose around five thousand years later in Mesopotamia and Egypt, two parallel cultures founded on a surplus of cereal grains produced by organized agriculture on a massive scale. This freed a small fraction of the population from the need to work in the fields and made possible the emergence of specialist priests, administrators, scribes, and craftsmen. Not only did beer nourish the inhabitants of the first cities and the authors of the first written documents, but their wages and rations were paid in bread and beer, as cereal grains were the basis of the economy.

The flourishing culture that developed within the city-states of ancient Greece in the first millennium BCE spawned advances in philosophy, politics, science, and literature that still underpin modern Western thought. Wine was the lifeblood of this Mediterranean civilization, and the basis of vast seaborne trade that helped to spread Greek ideas far and wide. Politics, poetry, and philosophy were discussed at formal drinking parties, or symposia, in which the participants drank from a shared bowl of diluted wine. The spread of wine drinking continued under the Romans, the structure of whose hierarchical society was reflected in a minutely calibrated pecking order of wines and wine styles. Two of the world’s major religions issued opposing verdicts on the drink: The Christian ritual of the Eucharist has wine at its center, but following the collapse of the Roman Empire and the rise of Islam, wine was banned in the very region of its birth.

The rebirth of Western thought a millennium after the fall of Rome was sparked by the rediscovery of Greek and Roman knowledge, much of which had been safeguarded and extended by scholars in the Arab world. At the same time, European explorers, driven by the desire to circumvent the Arab monopoly on trade with the East, sailed west to the Americas and east to India and China. Global sea routes were established, and European nations vied with one another to carve up the globe. During this Age of Exploration a new range of beverages came to the fore, made possible by distillation, an alchemical process known in the ancient world but much improved by Arab scholars. Distilled drinks provided alcohol in a compact, durable form ideal for sea transport. Such drinks as brandy, rum, and whiskey were used as currency to buy slaves and became particularly popular in the North American colonies, where they became so politically contentious that they played a key role in the establishment of the United States.

Hard on the heels of this geographic expansion came its intellectual counterpart, as Western thinkers looked beyond long-held beliefs inherited from the Greeks and devised new scientific, political, and economic theories. The dominant drink of this Age of Reason was coffee, a mysterious and fashionable beverage introduced to Europe from the Middle East. The establishments that sprung up to serve coffee had a markedly different character from taverns that sold alcoholic drinks, and became centers of commercial, political, and intellectual exchange. Coffee promoted clarity of thought, making it the ideal drink for scientists, businessmen, and philosophers. Coffeehouse discussions led to the establishment of scientific societies, the founding of newspapers, the establishment of financial institutions, and provided fertile ground for revolutionary thought, particularly in France.

In some European nations, and particularly in Britain, coffee was challenged by tea imported from China. Its popularity in Europe helped to open lucrative trade routes with the East and underpinned imperialism and industrialization on an unprecedented scale, enabling Britain to become the first global superpower. Once tea had established itself as Britain’s national drink, the desire to maintain the tea supply had far-reaching effects on British foreign policy, contributing to the independence of the United States, the undermining of China’s ancient civilization, and the establishment of tea production in India on an industrial scale.

Although artificially carbonated beverages originated in Europe in the late eighteenth century, the soft drink came into its own with the invention of Coca-Cola one hundred years later. Originally devised as a medicinal pick-me-up by an Atlanta pharmacist, it became America’s national drink, an emblem of the vibrant consumer capitalism that helped to transform the United States into a superpower. Traveling alongside American servicemen as they fought wars around the world during the twentieth century, Coca-Cola went on to become the world’s most widely known and distributed product and is now an icon of the controversial march toward a single global marketplace.

Drinks have had a closer connection to the flow of history than is generally acknowledged, and a greater influence on its course. Understanding the ramifications of who drank what, and why, and where they got it from, requires the traversal of many disparate and otherwise unrelated fields: the histories of agriculture, philosophy, religion, medicine, technology, and commerce. The six beverages highlighted in this book demonstrate the complex interplay of different civilizations and the interconnectedness of world cultures. They survive in our homes today as living reminders of bygone eras, fluid testaments to the forces that shaped the modern world. Uncover their origins, and you may never look at your favorite drink in quite the same way again.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : vital fluids 1
1 A stone-age brew 9
2 Civilized beer 24
3 The delight of wine 43
4 The imperial vine 69
5 High spirits, high seas 93
6 The drinks that built America 112
7 The great soberer 133
8 The coffeehouse Internet 151
9 Empires of tea 175
10 Tea power 198
11 From soda to cola 223
12 Globalization in a bottle 250
Epilogue : back to the source 266
App In search of ancient drinks 277
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 102 )
Rating Distribution

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(37)

4 Star

(42)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 102 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2006

    Amazing how drinks affect the world

    I originally got this for extra credit for school and thought it would be a boring read, but as I started reading it, I found that I could not put it down. It is amazing how 6 different drinks have affect the world.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2010

    Interesting History!

    From bacteria infested water to modern day Coca-Cola, Tom Standage explores all the major eras of the world explaining how "the drink of the time" affected the people, trade, customs, health and social aspects of a civilization. Dating back to 10,000 BC when people began to consume the first alcoholic drink, beer, to modern day times where coca-cola is most commonly served, the book explores who discovered/invented the drink, where it spread to, the methods by which the drink spread, the purpose it served, and how it affected civilizations.

    Most drinks where not invented but discovered. The first five drinks (beer, wine, distilled drinks, coffee and tea) origins are lost in prehistory, with no clear time as to where it was created or discovered. Some drinks where restricted to specific religious or ethnic groups while others where widely consumed. Many held religious significance as well, and origins where told through legends and myth. Some drinks promoted key turning points in history and prosperous times for countries across the globe. These drinks became stable food supply and helped carry civilizations to where we are today.

    The History of the World in 6 Glasses was an easy read that told how a simple liquid would forever impact history. This book provided an interesting way to display how different drinks raised different lifestyles and cultures. Reading this book I realized just how big of an impact a drink can have on a civilization and its people.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2007

    AP World History Review: Impressive Book!

    This book was an exciting combination of factual evidence and the following humor resulting from the occureneces of drinking in the different societies of the world. Not only was this book filled with historical evidence, the viewpoint of the importance of these drinks is clearly defined by their use in the many communities of both civilized and uncultivated people. The historical references date back into the time of Mesopotamia, which I found to be highly impressive in itself, and should be a sign to anyone who is debating how good of a comprehension the author had in this subject. The relevance of this article in today's world is immense and easily decipherable. The importance of the diversity in drinks is evident by the clear explanation of the 6 drinks of the world: Beer, Wine, Spirits, Coffee, Tea, and Coca Cola. His thorough descriptions in the creation, uses, and acceptance in society make this book highly educational. Unlike many historical books, this novel allows the reader to enjoy a moderately short jaunt into history. People of any educated age can come to appreciate this book and what it's information determines. I recomend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the history of past empires and civiliztaions. Tom Standage creates a vivid and enjoyable novel that truly defines the ages of mankind into easily understandable sections, so as the reader can fully grasp how the world has evolved since the Mesopotamians to the Civilizations in the world today.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2005

    sip your way through history

    refreshingly written, imbibed with all sorts of 'i-didn't-know-that' bits. had no idea how civilization had shifted due to the current beverage of choice. fascinating, totally readable. an unusual and fabulous book

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    Review of the Reviews

    As an AP World History teacher, I'm somewhat disturbed by the fact that many of these so-called AP students refer to the book as a "novel," which is, as we all should know, a work of fiction, which Mr Standage's book clearly is not.

    Beyond that, "Six Glasses" is a fun read, a refreshing new persepctive, and an interesting compaion to Reay Tannehill's "Food In History."

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2008

    AP World History Review: An Intriguing Read!

    A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage is an extremely interesting book that summarizes how society and global evolution took place due, in large part, to the spread and popularity of six defining drinks: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and coca cola. The author shows his readers how these beverages were extremely important in shaping the many pivotal events of history and how they allowed for transitions in human civilizations and relationships. Using accurate historical evidence along with his astounding connections and descriptions, Standage creates an extremely detailed depiction of the world's history from the origins of civilization to present day society. In my opinion, the author did an impressive job writing this novel, for he was able to consolidate the history of human existence and interactions into a short writing while expressing a convincing and logical explanation as to how six beverages were able to shape the world's history.<BR/><BR/>After reading this informational, yet enjoyable novel, I was able to clearly understand how something as small as a beverage could immensely sculpt the many peoples and places of history. Tom Standage was able to give me an insight into the world's history through a perspective I had never considered before, and I enjoyed this novel much more than I had anticipated. That being said, I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is curious to how the path of the world's evolution was shaped by seemingly insignificant attributes-beverages!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Great Reading even for a non- history buff

    This book takes the reader though six cultures and the beverages associated with them. Beer for the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians.: Wine for the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Spirits aka Booze comes next: whiskey rum, etc. and their historic roles.Caffeine is the common element in the next three: coffee, tea, and Coca-cola The book tells of the "discovery" of each and the era when it dominated. The epilogue tells of another drink known since the cave men which has found new popularity today.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Incredibly informative and interesting

    This book covers an amazing amount of information in a unique and often humourous way. It will make even people who say they hate history be entertained. By dividing major shifts in history by the drinks we consume every day, it gives the reader a sense of continuity to the human race. You don't even realize how much you've learned until the book ends in a full circle, both starting and ending with... WATER. By dropping names that we recognize but may not exactly remember what it was they did or when, the book does a fine job of making history make sense. Highly recommend.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Riveting Way to Learn History

    I read this book for World History AP and it is the fastest way to learn about the history of the entire globe. It is not exclusively a western civilization narrative, it covers the ENTIRE world. I recomemend this to anyone, especially if they are not interested in history.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Awesome

    Loved this. Gave how each of these drinks - beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola affected history in their eras and wrapped up where you could find versions of them from those eras.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    AP World History Review: A Fascinating Book!

    Tom Standage's novel, A History of the World in 6 Glasses gives a new perspective of tracing the history of the world. The author uses the ingenious idea of using 6 beverages: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and coca cola to communicate to the reader how our world has the beginning of civilization and Mesopotamia through modern day around these drinks. Standage does an impressive job with connecting all of these drinks to history, and also describing how they shape civilizations and the world's development. One of my favorite connections was how the author describes some drinks importance in religion, as well as society. It was also interesting how the author explains how most of the beverages were in fact discovered, not invented. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in world history, or the desire to acquire a new perspective on the development of world civilizations. The reader is also provided with a perspective of the development of the entire world, not just the standard, primarily western viewpoint of development, which I also found intriguing. In addition, Standage does a remarkable job of keeping the reader's attention with a strong voice and new ideas for the reader to contemplate as they read. In fact, as soon as I began to read this book, I found it hard to put down! However, I would not recommend this novel to a person who does not have an interest in history. In my opinion, The History of the World in 6 Glasses was an extraordinary book that was full of historical content that I found fascinating.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Fun but not deep

    This book could have been great with a bit more detail. It was best when the author was setting up the origin of a drink.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    I wish I hadn't purchased this book...

    I read a sample and thought it looked interesting. But it is pretty boring. Sort of stuffed with statement after statement. No good storytelling or insight.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2011

    Cheers to history through the beverage glass...

    A very unique way of examining the past. This look at the development of various cultures throughout history and the relationship of their major beverages is an original approach, which is both informative and entertaining. Find out how the indulgence in your favorite drink may make you a part of history!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2014

    This book is krystal mcvalla

    Read this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    APWH Review: Learning history in a fun way Standage's novel is b

    APWH Review: Learning history in a fun way
    Standage's novel is based on how drinks can affect the people in different civilization throughout the course of history. The drinks represented culture diffusion. The drinks helped with culture diffusion because the drinks were used for economic growth like the tea or the coffee. The six drinks in the book are displayed one from each time period which helps in groupings, making connections and comparing. Standage takes the historical analogy and turns into a fun way to connect with the world. The information in the book is not given like a history book normally would but, the history is showed in a way that everyone can relate. Standage really makes the book connects to each individual because everyone is affected by the drinks. 
    Standage organizes the book in order so that it is easier to understand. The book starts with wine from Stone Age to coke with the present day. Standage certainly makes sure to make connections in different civilizations with all of the drinks. Standage is great writer and he does an outstanding job in explaining the world came to be today. I would strongly recommend this book as a good way to review World History.   

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    AP World History Student Review:A History of the World in 6 Glas

    AP World History Student Review:A History of the World in 6 Glasses is a good example on how history can be taught in an interesting way. He tells the history of the world though six glasses. Some of the elements that Tom Standage used in the book are fascinating. The wording of the book is not that hard to read, but there were some parts that I didn’t understand. I liked the fact that he tied the fact that we all need liquids and that he told the historical stories though this factor. The book talks not only about the history though just the drinks, he talks about changes in technology, economy and sociology. The dating of the book goes back to ancient Mesopotamia and goes to today. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that wants a cool twist on world history today. He talks about how the civilizations developed and how they spread though these drinks.
    I think Tom Standage did a very nice job writing this book. He completely and thoroughly addresses his purposes in writing the book. It tells the history though the drinks and I was able to understand it. He talks about the civilizations that have been covered in my history class. Standage creates an enjoyable way of showing the stages of the developing world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    Book

    Its a great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2013

    Loved it

    Excellent read

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    Very Informative

    I thought it was very informative and written in a reader-friendly style. I find myself pulling out facts at parties quite often!

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