A Book Devoured: Review of A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage


I seem to be on a trend of food history books because after reading Cooked and now A History of the World in 6 Glasses, I am on the hunt for more food history books to devour!

I first heard about this book from Jayne and its parallels to the structure of Cooked intrigued me. While Cooked described various cooking techniques as parallels to stages in the development of civilization, A History does a similar thing by describing how 6 drinks shaped human history. Those 6 drinks/phases of history are:

  • beer and the birth of agriculture and urban living
  • wine and the development of ancient society
  • spirits and the imperial age of exploration
  • coffee and the age of enlightenment
  • tea and the industrial age and the affects of globalization
  • coca-cola and the dawning of the modern, Americanized era
I found this book to be more enjoyable and easier to read than Cooked, due to Tom Standage not indulging in the slightly roundabout writing style that Michael Pollan employs. Standage seems genuinely interested in the facts and history and it's fascinating to see the link between each of these humble beverages and their effect on global society. The world may seem small now, but after reading this book, it feels as if it has always been small when one drink can change so many countries and people's lives. Definitely worth reading, preferably with a cup or two of one of these!


Available for purchase on Amazon.
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