For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The History of the World's Most Popular Soft Drink Paperback – 1 Apr 2000
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An encyclopaedic history of Coke and its subculture. [Pendergrast] has used Coca-Cola as a metaphor for the growth of modern capitalism itself. -- Washington Post
As a reference work, as a history, and as a rich source of anecdotes, this book could hardly be bettered. -- Sunday Times
Detailed and marvellously entertaining. -- Los Angeles Times
There are fascinating examples of Coke's battle to become number one,.... -- mad.co.uk Bookshop, July, 2001
About the Author
Mark Pendergrast was born in Atlanta and is a graduate of Harvard University. A business journalist, he has published articles and reviews in a number of magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, the Sunday Times (London), and Financial Analyst. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
One of the enduring memories of my childhood, likely shared with millions of others, is getting a dime from one of my parents to buy and enjoy an ice-cold Coke pulled from a filling-station vending machine during a long drive on a hot day. After filling the car up with gas, Ol' Dad probably had a Coke also; memory fails. (This was before auto air conditioning reached the sweaty masses.) The drinking experience was pure bliss. Over the half-century since, nothing has ever tasted better. It's an iconic experience, like a hot dog with all the fixin's at the ball game or pink cotton candy at the state fair handed-over fresh, warm and fragrant out of the spinner (not pre-made and pre-packaged in a plastic overwrap as it frequently comes now).
FOR GOD, COUNTRY AND COCA-COLA is Mark Pendergrast's prodigiously researched - 96 pages of Notes - on the soft-drink and the company that sells it from the former's creation in 1886 to the status of both in 1992. (The book was published in 1993.) Pendergrast's grandfather was an Atlanta druggist that sold Coca-Cola in his store's soda fountain.
With 425 pages of text and three photo sections, Mark's labor of love will tell you more than you'll ever need to know about "the real thing". Indeed, towards the end of the narrative, when the history gets somewhat bogged down detailing Coca-Cola's advertising strategy of the 1980s, it may be more than you wanted to know. But, never mind; the author is nothing if not comprehensively complete.
For me, the most fascinating elements of the volume were the descriptions of the "patent medicine" industry of the late nineteenth century, the company's efforts to get its product to the troops in World War II, and the evolution of the ongoing competition between Coca-Cola and its Great Enemy, Pepsi. Personally, I've always preferred the latter when imbibed by itself. But, if one is adding peanuts to the bottle - and it must be a glass bottle - then it simply has to be Coke; no other brand will do.
FOR GOD, COUNTRY AND COCA-COLA is long and perhaps not amenable to the reading interest of everyone. But, if you're intrigued by the subject matter, I don't imagine you'll find a better or more engaging treatment of it on the bookshelves.
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