America Walks into a Bar and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $10.11 (41%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 16 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
America Walks into a Bar:... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Bidwell Buys
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Minimal signs of wear. Ships direct from Amazon!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops Hardcover – June 21, 2011


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$14.84
$9.40 $5.89
Best%20Books%20of%202014
$14.84 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops + Bucket List Bars: Historic Saloons, Pubs, and Dives of America
Price for both: $28.06

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019973495X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199734955
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A robust homage to the history and proliferation of bars and their vast and often overlooked cultural significance." --Kirkus Reviews


"Breezy, anecdotal, and pun-laden yet complete with a selective bibliography of print sources, Sismondo's book surveys a myriad of American drinking establishments, accenting their importance in social, political, and cultural history and discerning subtle differences over the centuries." --Library Journal


"Displays both detailed research and wit..." --David Wondrich, The Wall Street Journal


"Many of the author's anecdotes offer interesting glimpses into the history of the Americas and the important role drinking establishments have played in the development of our society." --Wine Enthusiast


" A wide-ranging, often hilarious, always sharp and thoughtful look at the way our nation's drinking establishments have shaped and reflected our history."
--Kate Tuttle, The Boston Globe


"America Walks Into a Bar isn't a paean to drinking or a love letter to alcohol. It is an insightful, well-told look inside the unique thing that is the American tavern, and how the tavern has helped change American history. It is a worthy addition to the bookshelf of anyone who appreciates the nuances of American history and an occasional visit to the local watering hole." --Dan Murphy, Buffalo News


"I found the history to be interesting... the level of detail spectacular, and the information on the changing bar formats and their ever-changing reputation fascinating. If you are interested in American history and bar history, this is your new favorite book." --Camper English, Alcademics


"'America, as we know it, was born in a bar.' This is the thesis of a fascinating, informative, well-researched and well-written new book called America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops."
--Ted Scheffler, City Weekly


"The book is a revelation." -- American Interest


About the Author


Christine Sismondo is a writer and lecturer in Humanities at York University in Toronto. She has written numerous articles about film, literature, drinking, and vice, as well as the book Mondo Cocktail, a narrative history of cocktails.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By thesha on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Don't look for the punch line here - this is not a joke book. It's a well written history with plenty of wry humor and chock full of fascinating stories. It's not just another book about bars nor is it a boring historical treatise. The author has meticulously researched and documented the ties between the tavern, bar etc, and the social, cultural and political evolution of America but written about it in such a way that it feels like a conversation taking place in - well - a bar. This is a really enjoyable book that taught me a great many things I thought I already knew.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ted Scheffler on October 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
(As reviewed by Ted Scheffler in Salt Lake City Weekly)

"America, as we know it, was born in a bar." This is the thesis of a fascinating, informative, well-researched and well-written new book called America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops, by Christine Sismondo. It's not just that America was born in a bar, however; it also grew up in a bar, as we discover from reading Sismondo's book.

From the get-go, bars and taverns have been crucial gathering places for Americans. Sismondo documents the importance of bars to the earliest colonists, writing, "Taverns were absolutely critical for the new settlers' survival. Establishing a tavern was the first priority--not just the first choice--of every colony." In Boston, for example, the first official government building wasn't built until 1658. Until then, "all legal and government proceedings took place in taverns and meeting houses." Since the earliest days of this country, bars, taverns, saloons, grog shops--whatever you want to call them--have served as centers of political, social and cultural expression, ideas, opinion and organization.

In passages about early American urban centers, Sismondo reminds us that most people lived in small, cramped quarters--tenements, in particular. There was no place to recreate or socialize--no place, really, to think. Thus, bars became a logical neighborhood locale for simply finding a little bit of space. And Sismondo does a great job of detailing the importance of bars, from the mundane to the monumental: John Wilkes Booth plotted his infamous assassination with accomplices in the Surratt Tavern in Clinton, Md. Andrew Jackson met Jean Lafitte in a New Orleans grog shop to plan their defense against the British.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Karris on October 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am well pleased with this informative and entertaining book. Put in the hands of another author, this subject might have come up dry. But in our author's hands, the subject comes up refreshingly wet. This text is important for American history buffs as well as for those of us who study food and drink in America's past and present. I highly recommend this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Andrew McMichael on May 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting and semi-academic book examining the history of bars/taverns/saloons in the U.S. Don't read this expecting a lot of footnoted material, or heavy analysis. It is more of a narrative meant to give the reader interesting anecdotes while still retaining the overall sense of the "flow" of history as it relates to bars/taverns/saloons.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Brian on November 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is REAL American history! Not the watered down version we teach in schools. I hung on every word. Loved it!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By K. Wahl on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book! This book is well researched and certainly gave me a new perspective on American History. They don't tell you in high school American History classes what a bunch of drunkards many of our "founding fathers" were. (Many would never pass the scrutiny of contemporary social and broadcast media.) The book is well written and interjects humor and fun anecdotes about many well known and not so famous people. I highly recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?