Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages / Edition 1

Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages / Edition 1

by Patrick E. McGovern
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0520267982

ISBN-13: 9780520267985

Pub. Date: 12/17/2010

Publisher: University of California Press


In a lively tour around the world and through the millennia, Uncorking the Past tells the compelling story of humanity's ingenious, intoxicating quest for the perfect drink. Following a tantalizing trail of archaeological, chemical, artistic, and textual clues, Patrick E. McGovern, the leading authority on ancient alcoholic beverages, brings us up to date

Overview


In a lively tour around the world and through the millennia, Uncorking the Past tells the compelling story of humanity's ingenious, intoxicating quest for the perfect drink. Following a tantalizing trail of archaeological, chemical, artistic, and textual clues, Patrick E. McGovern, the leading authority on ancient alcoholic beverages, brings us up to date on what we now know about how humans created and enjoyed fermented beverages across cultures. Along the way, he explores a provocative hypothesis about the integral role such libations have played in human evolution. We discover, for example, that the cereal staples of the modern world were probably domesticated for their potential in making quantities of alcoholic beverages. These include the delectable rice wines of China and Japan, the corn beers of the Americas, and the millet and sorghum drinks of Africa. Humans also learned how to make mead from honey and wine from exotic fruits of all kinds-even from the sweet pulp of the cacao (chocolate) fruit in the New World. The perfect drink, it turns out-whether it be mind-altering, medicinal, a religious symbol, a social lubricant, or artistic inspiration-has not only been a profound force in history, but may be fundamental to the human condition itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520267985
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
12/17/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,184,923
Product dimensions:
9.22(w) x 11.70(h) x 0.84(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations
Preface

1. Homo Imbibens: I Drink, Therefore I Am
2. Along the Banks of the Yellow River
3. The Near Eastern Challenge
4. Following the Silk Road
5. European Bogs, Grogs, Burials, and Binges
6. Sailing the Wine-Dark Mediterranean
7. The Sweet, the Bitter, and the Aromatic in the New World
8. Africa Serves Up Its Meads, Wines, and Beers
9. Alcoholic Beverages: Whence and Whither?

Select Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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