Pint of Plain: Tradition, Change, and the Fate of the Irish Pub

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Overview

“Shhhhhh…Don’t tell, but this is really a book about globalization, not about ‘yer only man’ (i.e., the well-pulled pint of porter). With ‘Oirish’ pubs cropping up in every burg and burb, what has happened to the originals?…An excellent, however sneaky, addition to the literature of globalization.”—Booklist

A Pint of Plain is Bill Barich’s witty, deeply observant portrait of an Ireland vanishing before our eyes. Drawing on the wit and wisdom of O’Brien, Joyce, Behan, and Synge, ...

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A Pint of Plain: Tradition, Change and the Fate of the Irish Pub

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Overview

“Shhhhhh…Don’t tell, but this is really a book about globalization, not about ‘yer only man’ (i.e., the well-pulled pint of porter). With ‘Oirish’ pubs cropping up in every burg and burb, what has happened to the originals?…An excellent, however sneaky, addition to the literature of globalization.”—Booklist

A Pint of Plain is Bill Barich’s witty, deeply observant portrait of an Ireland vanishing before our eyes. Drawing on the wit and wisdom of O’Brien, Joyce, Behan, and Synge, Barich explores how Irish culture has become a commodity for export. While Irish pubs in the countryside are closing at the alarming rate of one per day, replicas are being born in foreign countries at the same rate. From the famed watering holes of Dublin to tiny village pubs, Barich introduces a colorful array of characters, and engages in an unvarnished yet affectionate discussion about what it means to be Irish today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“With scholarly rigor, he surveys the literature on the history of drinking, drunkenness and pubs before rewarding himself with the grueling and perilous fieldwork of sampling deeply from the 12,000 outposts in Ireland where alcohol is sold by the glass…Mr. Barich's picaresque meander through the Irish bloodstream is an entertaining survey of the culture and commerce of Ireland at a tremulous moment in its history…Fascinating.”Wall Street Journal

“Most browsers will pick this up because they want to read about Irish pubs, but they will get much, much more than they expected. An excellent, however sneaky, addition to the literature of globalization.”—Booklist

“Barich weaves a never-ending stream of oddly engaging historical and literary references into every dead end…Barich’s passion for boozy subjects is broad and undeniable. He’s equally at ease covering the effects of the temperance movement and introducing regional slang terms for being drunk.”—New York Times Book Review

“The American writer Bill Barich moved to Ranelagh, on Dublin's south side, some time ago and set out to find the perfect Irish pub. A Pint of Plain: Tradition, Change, and the Fate of the Irish Pub is an engaging account of his quest and investigations.”Boston Globe

“Nicely researched, intelligently written, his book is a fun read tinged with melancholy at the thought of time passing and things changing; appropriately Irish, I think.”Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802710628
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Barich has written for the New Yorker and other publications for many years. The author of the classic Laughing in the Hills, he lives in Dublin.

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