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Standage, Tom. a History of the World in 6 Glasses - Book Analysis

Autor:   •  February 10, 2013  •  Book/Movie Report  •  968 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,128 Views

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Standage, Tom. A History of the World in 6 Glasses. New York: Walker and Company, 2005. Print.

For his book, the author chose to evaluate how six different drinks changed history in a whole. Since most people would believe that drinks of the world are irrelevant to history, the author proves otherwise by saying such things as that they started a global revolution or that they were the basis to political brilliance or that they were good motivators for work and basically saying that whenever someone drinks on of the 6 drinks, they should know that every single drop contains history. The availability of water and other drinking sources have "constrained and guided humankind's progress" and "have continued to shape human history". Throughout time, beverages have done more than quenched our thirst; they have been used as currencies, medicines, and in religious rites. They have served as symbols of wealth and power, as well as tools to appease the poor.

Since Mesopotamia and Egypt were two of the largest nations in the known world, before 10,000 BCE, their primary drink was water. Once beer was discovered in Mesopotamia, it was considered as a step up from water. Since water could have contamination, beer was the ideal drink since it could be boiled leaving no unwanted viruses. Beer eventually made its way to Egypt, where it became just as popular. Beer was discovered not invented, used as a religious offering, was edible money, and used as medicine. It was also used to increase agriculture and settlement, and regional trade. The significant improvement in lifestyle "freed a small fraction of the population from the need to work in the fields, and made possible the emergence of specialist priest, administrators, scribes, and craftsmen." Not only did beer nourish man's first civilizations, but in many ways, made them entirely possible.

After beer, the following drink that followed the pattern was brandy. Since the slave trade was forming at the time and they were being traded and shipped to America from Africa, brandy was typically used in exchange for slaves. Rum soon went on to become the next currency, and these two drinks had the unbelievable power to change the course of history. Spirits were the first globalized drink and sparked trade wars. The global effect that spirits had were the spread of technology, exploration, spread of disease, slavery, trade, and revolution.

In the 17th Century, there was the Age of Illumination, and at this point, coffeehouses began popping up around Europe for intellectual scientists to share ideas and other people to discuss political declarations. Coffee was a new and safe alternative to alcoholic drinks and water. It was considered to have medicinal qualities and provided global enlightenment, revolution, trade, colonialism, and a scientific revolution.

In Ancient Rome, the popular drink at the


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