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Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol [Paperback]

Iain Gately
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.98
Price: 10.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol + The Politics of Alcohol: A History of the Drink Question in England + An Inebriated History of Britain
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Product details

  • Paperback: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham Books (5 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592404642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592404643
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 14.9 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Drink "Drink" investigates the history of the most Jekyll and Hyde of all fluids--alcohol--and traces humankind's love/hate relationship with it from ancient Egypt to the present day. Gately also provides a history of the world's most famous drinks--and the world's most famous drinkers. Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good enough to buy twice 26 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the second copy of Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol that I have owned. I read my first copy (the paperback version) almost cover-to-cover, then read it through again, highlighting all the best anecdotes, so that I could do my best to commit them to memory. It is such an entertaining and informative read that, like me, you'll probably want your friends to read it too. I have replaced my first copy (now on a friend's bookshelf) with the hardback version, which I intend to guard jealously.

Iain Gately's writing engages from the first page, and keeps you fascinated right the way through ten thousand years of world history. Alcohol is so embedded in our modern culture that we normally fail to grasp just how big a part it played in the past. Mr Gately seamlessly covers pretty much every kind of alcoholic drink, everywhere (and everywhen), as well as the respective impacts they have had on the evolution of societies and events. The research that went into this book must have been staggering; it is a remarkably detailed piece of work, fascinating, endlessly entertaining, and so easy to read.

My particular favourite anecdote (one of many from this splendid compendium) surrounds the work of Jabir Ibn Hayyan and the origin of the word 'Alcohol'. I won't spoil it for you -- it's all there in Chapter 6.

If I could give it more than five stars, I would. I fully expect to buy additional copies for my friends in the future, though perhaps if I had better friends they would just take my word for it and buy their own! In any case, I will be sure to hang on to my own copy this time.

Go on and buy this book; you'll love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars witty, well researched and very interesting 13 Oct 2008
I read Gately's book on Tobacco a couple of years back and so when this new book appeared on the lists I immediately looked forward to reading it. It didn't disappoint - indeed, if anything, it is an even more interesting and polished affair than its predecessor. There is so much of interest in it: history, stories, and a huge amount of information and commentary are all expertly woven together and described in Gately's witty and intelligent style - which makes for enjoyable and easy reading. I'm going to send a couple of copies as Christmas presents - which I know will be well received - what better recommendation can I give you?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and easy to read 26 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well worth a read. The author delivers a solid social history of alcohol in an easily accessible style. Plenty of detail, entertaining and informative throughout.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gamble that paid off 12 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I took a gamble last christmas for my father - absolute hit, perfect reading with a drink in hand... or on the throne!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
It took me a while to get through this encyclopedic epic, but it was well worth the read. Like a fine wine, it wasn't heavy going, but a revelation of 'fact stranger than fiction' mini histories. Hysterically funny in parts, it was as hard to put down as a good cocktail, and just as intriguing and enjoyable to digest. I now consider myself - a bit like the author- educated in the art which controls so much of most people's everyday life.
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