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Rum - A Social and Sociable History,
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This review is from: Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776 (Paperback)
This book is a quick, interesting and fun read. It is, as the title suggests, the story of rum - the invention of rum, the manufacture of rum, and the place of rum in world history and culture.
There is a surprisingly large amount of information to be had here, and it is presented by the author in a tongue-in-cheek, bantering style which makes it easy to remember and to connect with many other points of reference. You'll learn all about `kill devil', `scuttlebutt', `Nelson's blood', and then be overcome with the urge to wash down the lesson with a shot of `Barbadoes waters' as you contemplate the grog ration, and how Britannia actually came to rule the waves.
Like coffee, chocolate, tea, opium, sugar, methamphetamines and tobacco, rum is a product for which there is great demand -a craving no less- and that demand creates all sorts of consequences-it becomes a great driver of human events, for both good and ill. The by-product of Jamaican sugar refining is molasses, which is distilled in New England to make rum, which is shipped to West Africa as a trade good in exchange for slaves, who are taken to Jamaica to cultivate sugar cane...
If you want to learn more about subjects as diverse as the drinking habits of our Founding Fathers and why they were indebted to medieval Arabian alchemists, or the triple scourges of `Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion' (to say nothing of `Rum, Buggery and The Lash'),or the pirates of the Caribbean, or the one and only quality export coming out of Haiti these days, or what those fifteen men were up to, you really should pick this book up today.