From the origins of drinking to the use and abuse of alcohol in the present day, this global historical study draws on approaches and research from biology, anthropology, sociology and psychology. Topics covered include:
- the impact of colonialism
- alcohol before the world economy
- industrialization and alcohol
- globalization, consumer society, and alcohol.
Gina Hames argues that the production, trade, consumption, and regulation of alcohol have shaped virtually every civilization in numerous ways. It has perpetuated the development of both domestic and international trade; helped create identity and define religion; provided a tool for oppression as well as a tool for cultural and political resistance; and has supplied governments with essential revenues as well as a means of control over minority groups.
Alcohol in World History is one of the first studies to pull together such a wide range of sources in order to compare the role of alcohol throughout time and across both western and non-western civilizations.