Essay on A History of the World in 6 Glasses

899 Words Apr 19th, 2011 4 Pages
A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage is a non-fiction historical novel, whose main purpose is to show the surprisingly pervasive influence of certain drinks on the course of history. Then it takes the reader on a journey through time to show the history of mankind through the lens of beverages.
The thesis of the novel is that through history certain specialty beverages have affected more than just the diet of people and changed political aspects, economic standings, religious ceremonies and social views throughout human history. Standage clearly favors the subject written about and offers no information or analysis to disprove the thesis of the novel. Tom Standage is an author of 3 other novels, which are also historic
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Coffee quickly became the drink of intellect and industry being known to sharpen the mind. Taverns were replaced with a more sophisticated meeting place, the coffeehouse. These “led to the establishment of scientific societies and financial institutions, the founding of newspapers, and provided fertile ground for revolutionary thought.” [4]
Once established as England's national drink, tea imports from first China and India led to massive trade. The book describes the power of the British East India Company, which “generated more revenue than the British government and ruled over far more people,”

wielding more power than any other corporation in history. [5] This imbalance of power had an enormous effect on British foreign policy, and led to the independence of the U.S. Like most of the drinks discussed in this novel, Coca-Cola was originally devised as a medical drink. More than any other product, Coca-Cola has stood as the symbol of America's “vibrant consumer capitalism.” [4] Rather than shrink at the challenge, Coca-Cola took full advantage of the challenging times it found itself in, gaining ground through the depression, and then traveling alongside our soldiers into WWII, becoming a global phenomenon.
A History of the World in 6 Glasses is very useful and beneficial to the AP World History curriculum. In a teaching course, the teacher could assign a chapter of reading as homework in each…