By Rod Phillips
Even if as wine, beer, or spirits, alcohol has had a relentless and sometimes debatable position in social lifestyles. In his cutting edge ebook at the attitudes towards and intake of alcohol, Rod Phillips surveys a 9,000-year cultural and monetary background, uncovering the tensions among alcoholic beverages as fit staples of day-by-day diets and as items of social, political, and non secular anxiousness. within the city facilities of Europe and the United States, the place it was once noticeable as more healthy than untreated water, alcohol won a foothold because the drink of selection, however it has been extra regulated by means of governmental and non secular experts greater than the other commodity. As a possible resource of social disruption, alcohol created risky barriers of applicable and unacceptable intake and broke via obstacles of sophistication, race, and gender.
Phillips follows the ever-changing cultural meanings of those effective potables and makes the spectacular argument that a few societies have entered "post-alcohol" levels. His is the 1st booklet to envision and clarify the meanings and results of alcohol in such intensity, from international and long term perspectives.
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Extra resources for Alcohol: A History
Until methods of delivering drinking water over long distances were devised, humans lived only where there was regular access to fresh water in the form of rivers, streams, lakes, springs, wells, or precipitation as rain or snow. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans relied on water, both for individual rehydration and to support the supplies of fruit, vegetables, berries, meat, fish, and other items in their diet, all of which not only required water but also contained water. If alcoholic beverages became part of the prehistoric diet, they must have made a negligible contribution to rehydration at first (and for tens of thousands of years), because nomadic populations would not have been able to produce significant volumes of alcohol while constantly on the move.
Some nineteenth-century Christian theologians were so horrified at the thought that their god might have approved of alcohol that they reinterpreted the Bible to show that Jesus’s first miracle was to turn water into grape juice, not wine. Islam and some other religions banned the consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants. Alcohol has been blamed for illnesses, insanity, accidents, immorality, impiety, social disorder, catastrophes, crime, and death. From the Middle Ages to the present, it has been a convention for some commentators to see alcohol as the core problem from which all other problems flow.
The focus of the book is Europe, and there is extensive treatment of North America, too. The justification is that, even though alcoholic beverages might have originated elsewhere, and were certainly consumed throughout most of the world, Europeans integrated alcohol more extensively, and in greater volumes, into their cultures than people of any other region. In time, they extended their alcoholic beverages and, to some extent, their alcohol cultures to the wider world. Alcohol became one of the fields of contact, cooperation, and conflict that engaged Europeans and others in the processes of imperialism, colonization, and eventually, decolonization.
Alcohol: A History by Rod Phillips