Alcohol is a fundamental part of western culture and an essential element of Christianity. It is the most controversial part of our diet, simultaneously nourishing and intoxicating. We have been drinking as long as we have been human, and for better or worse, alcohol has shaped our civilization.
Drink investigates the history of this Jekyll and Hyde of fluids, tracing mankind’s love/hate relationship with alcohol from ancient Egypt to the present day. Along the way it scrutinizes the drinking habits of presidents, prophets, and barbarian hordes, and features drinkers as diverse as Homer, Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, Al Capone, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.
Drink further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States, taking in the War of Independence, the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt, the slave trade, and the failed experiment of national Prohibition. Finally, it provides a history of the world’s most famous drinks—and the world’s most famous drinkers. Enthusiasts of craft brews and fine wines will discover the origins of their favorite tipples. Packed with trivia and colorful characters, Drink amounts to a sloshed history of the world: Better make it a double.