Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Through a Glass, Lightly

See this week's issue of The New Yorker for a terrific review of Tom Standage's "A History of the World in Six Glasses." Standage, a technology reporter for The Economist, takes readers on a magical history tour through the glassy lens of six different beverages: beer (ancient Egypt), wine (Greece/Rome), distilled spirits (middle ages), coffee (17th century), tea (British empire), Coca-Cola (the American empire). What drink is next on the historical horizon? Water, says Standage, noting that Coca-Cola is already earning greater margins from Dasani than from its classic brew. But The New Yorker worries that bottled water will fail to inspire the great social and political experiments that make Standage's book such a fun read (quoting Horace: “No verse can give pleasure for long, nor last, that is written by water-drinkers.”)

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