Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than simply quench our thirst. As Tom Standage relates with easy authority and charm, six of them - beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola - have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history during pivotal epochs. From humankind's adoption of agriculture and the birth of cities to the advent of globalization, Standage reveals the intricate interplay of different civilizations by appreciating each drink as a kind of technology, a catalyst for advancing culture. After reading his clever and enlightened book, you may never look at your favourite drink in quite the same way again.
Tom Standage is business editor at The Economist and author of The Turk, The Neptune File and The Victorian Internet. He has also written for publications including the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, New York Times and Wired. He holds a degree in engineering and computer science from Oxford University and is the least musical member of a musical family. He is married and lives in London.