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Uncorking the Past : The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages - Patrick E. McGovern

Uncorking the Past

The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages

Paperback Published: 18th January 2011
ISBN: 9780520267985
Number Of Pages: 352

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In a lively tour around the world and through the millennia, "Uncorking the Past "tells the compelling story of humanity's ingenious, intoxicating quest for the perfect drink. Following a tantalizing trail of archaeological, chemical, artistic, and textual clues, Patrick E. McGovern, the leading authority on ancient alcoholic beverages, brings us up to date on what we now know about how humans created and enjoyed fermented beverages across cultures. Along the way, he explores a provocative hypothesis about the integral role such libations have played in human evolution. We discover, for example, that the cereal staples of the modern world were probably domesticated for their potential in making quantities of alcoholic beverages. These include the delectable rice wines of China and Japan, the corn beers of the Americas, and the millet and sorghum drinks of Africa. Humans also learned how to make mead from honey and wine from exotic fruits of all kinds-even from the sweet pulp of the cacao (chocolate) fruit in the New World. The perfect drink, it turns out-whether it be mind-altering, medicinal, a religious symbol, a social lubricant, or artistic inspiration-has not only been a profound force in history, but may be fundamental to the human condition itself.

"McGovern's delving, detailed in this fascinating book, leaves little doubt that humans are born drinkers." New Scientist "(A) magnificent study, skillfully written and well illustrated." Choice "Takes his reader on a world tour, examining the archeological record for alcohol use across continents and cultures." Nature "Highly informative and challenging." California Grapevine "In this engaging book, Patrick McGovern gives us a world tour of the origins of alcoholic beverages." -- John Gava Law Society Journal "A remarkable book, both erudite and entertaining." Gastronomica

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Homo Imbibens: I Drink, Therefore I Amp. 1
Along the Banks of the Yellow Riverp. 28
The Near Eastern Challengep. 60
Following the Silk Roadp. 105
European Bogs, Grogs, Burials, and Bingesp. 129
Sailing the Wine-Dark Mediterraneanp. 159
The Sweet, the Bitter, and the Aromatic in the New Worldp. 198
Africa Serves Up Its Meads, Wines, and Beersp. 231
Alcoholic Beverages: Whence and Whither?p. 266
Select Bibliographyp. 283
Acknowledgmentsp. 297
Indexp. 301
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780520267985
ISBN-10: 0520267982
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 18th January 2011
Publisher: University of California Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 15.2 x 22.8  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.49

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