Drink: A Social History of America

Barr, Andrew

Published by Carroll & Graf, 1999
ISBN 10: 0786705590 / ISBN 13: 9780786705597
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Dust Jacket front has sticker remainder / light soiling. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: A thought-provoking and fascinating foray into the world of alcohol explores its historical and social impact on American life and describes its many uses as a symbol of democracy, social status, and control. 20,000 first printing.

Review:

"It is not generally appreciated how extreme American attitudes about alcohol appear from the other side of the Atlantic."

With an opening line such as that, it's not surprising that Drink: A Social History of America engages in its share of Yankee-bashing. British journalist Andrew Barr's look at American culture through a glass (somewhat blearily) is an attempt "to understand the history of the United States through its attitudes to liquor and its changing tastes in drink." In reality, however, Barr lurches and staggers from topic to topic--from prohibition to martinis to ice to air conditioning to bland American beer in one 10-page sample--in this swirling cocktail party of a book. That's not to say that Barr's book isn't enjoyable--in fact, it's often delightful. Barr serves up amusing stories (such as that of poor King Charles II of Navarre, immolated in an alcohol-soaked sheet), interesting factoids (the first grapevines in California were planted at the San Juan Capistrano mission in 1779), and strong opinions. Some of his opinions are funny, some are bound to raise hackles (that alcoholism is not a disease, but a "failure of personality," for example), while others are somewhat sensible but destined to be unpopular. Barr feels that Americans have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, so we should teach young people (and those who drink to excess) to drink sensibly, worry less about pregnant women having the occasional drink and more about prenatal care, and switch the focus from stricter drunk-driving laws to laws aimed at reducing dangers such as cell-phone use and road rage. Just when things get too serious, however, Barr is off again in another direction with another witty snippet. Unfortunately, like many partygoers, Barr tends to repeat himself--frequent footnotes direct the reader to "See Chapter 4," "See Chapter 4 again," or even "See Chapter 4 once more." Perfect for browsing or ingesting in small doses, too much Drink in one sitting may leave readers with a headache. --C.B. Delaney

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Drink: A Social History of America
Publisher: Carroll & Graf
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Good

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Barr, Andrew
Published by Carroll & Graf Pub (1999)
ISBN 10: 0786705590 ISBN 13: 9780786705597
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Book Description Carroll & Graf Pub, 1999. Condition: Good. First Edition. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP7629274

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Barr, Andrew
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Book Description Carroll & Graf Pub, 1999. Condition: Good. First Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP90341643

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Book Description Avalon Publishing Group. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. This copy shows very minor wear. Seller Inventory # G0786705590I4N00

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Book Description Avalon Publishing Group. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Seller Inventory # G0786705590I3N10

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Book Description Carroll & Graf Pub. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, that’ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2806703386

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Book Description Carroll & Graf Pub, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Ex-library book in good condition with typical stamps and markings. Pages are clean and the binding is tight. *NOTE* Stock photo may not represent the actual book for sale. Seller Inventory # mon0000470871

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Book Description Carroll & Graf Pub, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Very Good. A used book in very good condition. May be withdrawn library item. Seller Inventory # 171017082

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Book Description Carroll & Graf Pub, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Seller Inventory # S_207966664

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