It is now the year 2019. Probably an unremarkable year in history overall, if statistics are to be believed. History is less about individual years and more about the defining characteristics of an era which humanity assigns to the past retroactively. So, this week I have a book about history.
Wait don’t put down the paper yet, let me explain! A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage a breath of fresh air in the area of non-fiction history literature. I was a fan of Guns, Germs, and Steel but I found the idea of looking at history through the lens of what humanity has put in its drinking glass over the years much more interesting. Standage follows western history through beer as the beginning of civilization; wine as the genesis of Greek philosophy; spirits as the engine of the age of expansion; coffee as the powerhouse of The Enlightenment; tea through its relation to imperialism; and cola as the current poster child for globalism. The book explores how drinks both began their respective ages or were shaped by them. This book is worth a read to place some historical power behind your favorite drink and to show humanity is not what we eat but instead what we drink. Cheers!