It's books like this that make history fun. An entertaining lesson in how six beverages (beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and Coca-Cola) had an impact on civilisation. As well as learning about these beverages, I also got a bit of a history lesson and learnt things that I didn't know before.
"A History of the World in 6 Glasses" is that an intriguing title or what? This was required reading for both of my daughters in their high school freshman literature class and it intrigued me for 4 years before I picked it up to read it. I had to get my own copy though because theirs was so heavily annotated (my understanding is that they are encouraged to write in their books these days - boy, how times have changed). Anyway . . .
In "A History of the World in 6 Glasses" Tom Standage presents a historical perspective on the development of the 6 major non-water beverages of the world as well as their subsequent impact on the evolution of the societies where they were developed. The six, in a rough chronological order, are beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and Coca-Cola.
Mr. Standage's writing still is light and easy to read yet full of information. There some tidbits I vaguely recall from my school years (such as the rise of sugar cane and production of molasses) but many new facts that I found fun and informative - like the alcohol limit inherent in beer production, and how beer and wine effected the outcome of various naval battles.
Definitely worth a read if you are a history buff, enjoy reading about the evolution of cultures, or simply like beer, wine, and spirits - or coffee, tea - or Coke. Salud!