A History of the World in 6 Glasses - Tom Standage

A History of the World in 6 Glasses

By Tom Standage

  • Release Date: 2009-05-26
  • Genre: World
Score: 3.5
From 59 Ratings


New York Times Bestseller

From beer to Coca-Cola, the six drinks that have helped shape human history.

Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. Beer was first made in the Fertile Crescent and by 3000 B.C.E. was so important to Mesopotamia and Egypt that it was used to pay wages. In ancient Greece wine became the main export of her vast seaborne trade, helping spread Greek culture abroad. Spirits such as brandy and rum fueled the Age of Exploration, fortifying seamen on long voyages and oiling the pernicious slave trade. Although coffee originated in the Arab world, it stoked revolutionary thought in Europe during the Age of Reason, when coffeehouses became centers of intellectual exchange. And hundreds of years after the Chinese began drinking tea, it became especially popular in Britain, with far-reaching effects on British foreign policy. Finally, though carbonated drinks were invented in 18th-century Europe they became a 20th-century phenomenon, and Coca-Cola in particular is the leading symbol of globalization.

For Tom Standage, each drink is a kind of technology, a catalyst for advancing culture by which he demonstrates the intricate interplay of different civilizations. You may never look at your favorite drink the same way again.


  • The most BORING book you will ever read

    By Brittany worley
    I HATED this book and it is so boring. I highly suggest not wasting $12 on it.
  • All I can say is

    By Sadddieeaaaa
    Can I get my 12$ back?
  • Best History Book

    By Rrrriiiiccccoooo
    It manages to put all the important world information (that huge textbooks usually use hundreds of pages to explain) in only about/nearly 300 pages
  • A Great Book

    By Mr. As you know
    This book is an excellent book. It provides me the other view to watch through the history.
  • Highschool student

    By Natalie Conte
    I am going into my junior year of high school, and for the class I'm taking(Ap world history) we had a summer assignment where we had to choose a book to read from the list we were givin, which had about 15 different choices, then write a 5 page essay. In my mind I was not looking forward to it because history isn't the most exciting thing to read about it. I went through all of the "good" sounding book on the list and didnt like any of them. So even though the name of the book sounded boring because at the time I thought who would want to read a book about dreams. But as soon as I started reading I couldn't stop. I LOVED IT!!!!! I couldn't believe how interesting it was. I would highly recomend this book