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The Search for God and Guinness Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Nelson (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595552693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595552693
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.7 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,058,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Marcus Buckingham is a multi-million-copy, best-selling author with over 3.6 million copies of his landmark bestsellers in print. Drawing on more than 150,000 interviews collected by Gallup over the previous 25 years, he developed the thesis for his strengths message that is changing the way the world approaches life and work. He has been the subject of in-depth profiles in the New York Times, Fortune, and Fast Company and has consulted with national and international brands, such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Best Buy, and Wells Fargo. He is also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Leadership and Management.


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I guess this is written for a US evangelical Christian audience, hence the theme focused on persuading people that drinking beer is not a problem for christians, and that a brewer can be a moral force for good. If you agree with this already though, the point comes across as fairly laboured.

While this is a fascinating subject, and the author has done good groundwork in digging out much historical material, the florid language comes across as over the top, and gets a little grating for non-American ears after a while. And the historical method is a tad questionable - the impression given is of a conclusion having been drawn at the beginning, and the material shoe-horned in to support this. This is more cheerleading than erudition.

A good initiative, but could have been done much better.
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Format: Hardcover
The subject of the adult beverage has often been quite contentious in Christian circles. In his `biography of the beer that changed the world', Stephen Mansfield addresses the topic within the context of a world wherein beer has played a prominent role and has often been embraced - in moderation - as a gift from God by prominent Christian leaders throughout the centuries.

Mansfield presents the story of Arthur Guinness and the world-famous beer that bears his name as one that offers a challenge not only to modern corporations built on the endless pursuit of profit at any cost, but also to those who question whether or not their day to day work falls under the umbrella of divine vocation. In short, Guinness provides us with an example of a company that gives back to its workers and the citizens of its home city (Dublin) through various social programs, medical services and even architectural improvements. At the same time, this story provides the reader with an inspiring example of the reality that we are called to enjoy God's creation and make use of the gifts that he has given us, for his glory, no matter what we do for a living.

While it's possible to accuse Mansfield of romanticizing Guinness while ignoring the potential harm that over-consumption can cause, this book provides a refreshing alternative to common misconceptions and opens the door for a responsible raising of the glass to a great tasting beer that, through its impressive history, has been a vehicle for social and cultural good in an often troubled world.

This book is informative, entertaining and educational, and a solid read for anyone interested in the history of this fine beer and the fascinating Guinness family that was committed to serving God and making a difference in the world around them.
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Format: Hardcover
If you've ever visited Dublin you can't have failed to see the impact that Guinness, both the beer and the family, has had on the city and its inhabitants.

In his book, `God and Guinness, a biography of the beer that changed the world', Stephen Mansfiled traces the history of the Guinness family and shows the desire of the family members to serve God, whether it was through the church or through the brewery.

Not confining himself to Guinness beer, Mansfield traces the history of brewing back to its earliest days. He talks about how beer, and the community around public houses, played an important part in the lives of influential Christians, and how attitudes to drink have changed over the years.

In theory, this book should be top of my list for recommended reading as its core themes are very important to me, God and Guinness. But, half way through I started to get a little bogged down, and it took more effort to get to the end.

Why? Well, maybe it's because this book is written very definitely for an American market. The view of the church and history is read in the light of US politics and society and it doesn't quite work for a UK market. But, also, while there's a great deal in here about what the Guinness' did and achieved, both socially and in business, the book doesn't do the job that I was expecting in linking the decisions of the brewing family back into the example set in the life of Jesus. There are a couple of passages that quite clearly state how faith played a great part in the lives of this family, it's just I thought there could be a bit more of this.

Despite these gripes I wouldn't hesitate in recommending the book.
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Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure how I was going to get on with this book, I'm not a Guinness drinker and wondered whether that lack of connection would hinder the reading, but it didn't. I really enjoyed it.

This book is subtitled "A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World" which is true, but this book is also a biography of a family, the biography of a company and to a certain extent the biography of a country.

I used to do some work for Diageo who now own the Guinness brand so was interested to understand the history of the company. Like many of the great brands it turns out that Guinness was born out of the vision of one man and maintained through a number of generations, each of them holding true to an overall philosophy.

Speaking as a product of my age, who only knows beer as a highly commercialised product, I was surprised by the ancient history of beer which is covered as an introduction to the book. I particularly liked the idea that St. Patrick won over many an Irish tribal chief with his tasty beer.

Arthur Guinness the founder of Guinness sounds like a fascinating person - forward looking and practical. Reading about Arthur I'm drawn to a man of action and of principle. Many companies talk about Corporate Responsibility, it's a current trend, and Guinness stands as a historic example that few come close to.

It's fascinating to read, though, about a family that continues on through the generations with the same set of high principles inspired by Arthur. It seems that there are only two career choices for Guinness's - brewing or the clergy. Their influences read like a who's who of western Christianity - Wesley, Whitfield, Barnardo, Hudson Taylor, Spurgeon, Moody, Booth, Shaftsbury.
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