Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776

Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776

by Ian Williams


View All Available Formats & Editions
Use Express Shipping for guaranteed delivery by December 24

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781560258919
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 08/28/2006
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.62(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

Ian Williams is The Nation magazine's UN Correspondent and the author of DESERTER: George Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans and His Own Past. Since becoming interested in rum he has amassed a collection of "rumabilia;" books, pamphlets, prints, advertising ephemera, bottles and decanters, hundreds of rum labels from all over the world, and not least, a growing collection of rum, from Croatia to Thailand, from Kazakhstan to India, from Hawaii to Argentina. Williams lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
addict on LibraryThing 26 days ago
The Nation's Williams (Deserter: Bush's War on Military Families) offers a spirited¿if rambling¿discussion of the history and spread of rum, from the field-side stills of 17th-century Barbados to the scientifically calibrated factories of modern multinationals like Bacardi. His main point? That the "role of rum and drink in both causing and effecting the American Revolution has been filtered out" of our history books. Williams details the mechanics of the pre-Revolutionary triangles of trade: African slaves for the Caribbean sugarcane plantations were purchased with rum distilled in New England from Caribbean molasses. He deftly describes how the American colonists evaded British taxation of rum-making supplies, and relishes the notion of our patriotic forefathers as a bunch of rum-sozzled smugglers. His other discussions¿on the use of rum rations by various countries' navies, the production of rum in other parts of the world, the efficacy of Prohibition and his own rum-tasting forays¿are less focused. Readers also may tire of Williams's tendency to overwork the liquor metaphor: "cultural alembic," "heady cocktail," "good spirits," "the equation in a small tot," etc. 10 pages of b&w illus. not seen by PW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hill_Ravens More than 1 year ago
A historical view of Rhum from the first recorded reference to the liquor to the present day monopolies and struggles in the industry. All history books should be written in a similar manner to this book for better retention and insight in to history. The short stories and personal accounts captured in the book make the rise, fall and flat line of rum very entertaining and enjoyable. In some instance the book takes many political jabs which are not necessary to the overall expression in rum's history. It was fascinating to read about taxes, tariffs, trade wars and overall human trafficking which is a deep part of the rum legacy. There are several interesting historical tid bits and opinions gleaned from the facts available which made the book hard to put down sometimes. there is a lot of discussion about all the steps needed to make rum, why some countries are better suited for the market of rum, and what truly distinguishes one rum from another in today's market. It is a quick, fun read about history in general and the creation of rum. B