Thursday, January 5, 2012

Six Glasses

I'm listening to a fascinating book, A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage. His basic premise is that we could rethink the three ages of man (stone, bronze and iron) that are based on his tool usage, and perhaps think in terms of drinks.  He maps the history of humanity onto six representative drinks: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola. Beer was first made in the Fertile Cresent around the time man left his hunter-gatherer ways and turned to a more sedentary, couch potato, agrarian lifestyle. Then wine took over with the help of Greeks and Romans and their conquering ways. Spirits like Rum and Brandy, did not spoil on long voyages and so spurred on the age of exploration. Coffeehouses became the center of European revolutionary and intellectual exchange in the age of reason. Then "Britannia Ruled" the world while sipping tea from china cups. Finally came Coca-Cola (and Diet Cola - god's drink) and conquered us all (especially our teeth).

While I think the whole coffee/tea/cola half of the story a little weak, it is still an interesting thought. While we may think that we control what we eat and drink, perhaps they actually rule us (just look at the all-conquering maize). 

1 comment:

oliviao said...

I bought it too!! Also loved the premise - not the book so much! Have not finished it yet!