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Showing 1-10 of 84 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 260 reviews
on October 24, 2016
To most people Guinness means dark malt consumed on St. Patrick's Day. This book covers the entire family called "Guinness" and all the marvelous things the various family members have engaged, from brewers to ministers, from a worldwide distribution of the product, to the missionary efforts of some of the members of the clan.

Impressive are the efforts of the Guinness "company" to meet the needs of society and it's members, including housing, medical care and even cultural opportunities and training for the wives of the workers to be "successful" as women in that society and culture.

Memorable Quote: "You cannot make money from people unless you are willing for people to make money from you."
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on December 4, 2016
Stephen Mansfield does it again! This is an excellent read about a famous family and their famous brand. Several take-aways from the Guinness story. Do one thing really, really well before you diversify. Invest in your people. Consider all the facts before you act, then act quickly. Think long-term rather than short-term. Always look for God's Providence and follow His will as best you can know it.
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on October 3, 2016
An outstanding book that reviews the exceptional ties that the Guinness family had to founding the Guinness Brewery, to the Ministry and other business ventures. Amazing to learn about the amazing support of this family for their employees and their communities. Serves as a model for business today. Exceptional reading to see how a company takes social responsibility and blends it to drive value for their communities and the growth of their company.
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on March 4, 2010
The title seems odd, but it fits. This book is as much about the author's search as his findings. He comes from outside the "beer culture". It would be as if I wrote a book on Starbucks, since I don't drink coffee. What I really think he wanted to write about is the philanthropy of Arthur Guinness, and his subsequent lineage. What he is excited to write about is how Arthur was very influenced by Charles and John Wesley, the founders of Methodism and its "social gospel", and evangelist George Whitefield. He's on safe ground here, as most books on Guinness and beer would fail to bring in these topics. However, then he has to almost apologize for the book to his fellow Protestants who are not merely moderate drinkers but abstainers. There follows an intriguing history of brewing and the place of beer in society. Earlier Protestants like Guinness viewed beer not as the curse, but the answer to the problem of drunkeness from harder gin. Not surprisingly, he quotes an author from 100 years ago, G.K. Chesterton, who could always be counted on to stand up for pubs and beer, and he gave us this quote, among others: "We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them."

The book from then on repays careful reading, because it offers glimpses of little known history. 90 per cent of Dublin's population was Catholic, Mansfield notes, but they only owned 10 per cent of the land. Why? the reader immediately asks. Because when Henry VIII created the Church of England, there was nothing to create it from but stolen Catholic churches and monasteries, Catholicism being then conveniently outlawed. The Irish church was the Irish equivalent of the Church of England (Anglican Church). Guinness, whose workers were all Catholic, was a model employer who opposed the anti-Catholic laws in Ireland, we're told, and even went so far as to rebuild St. Patrick's Cathedral. If only he could have gone further, and given it back to the Catholics.

Mansfield mentions the English Quaker Cadbury, a total abstainer who invented a famous cocoa drink as an alternative to alchohol, and created a utopian British village for his workers. Lever, a soap manufacturer, also was known for providing similarly well-designed housing. However, the same Chesterton mentioned earlier, wrote a poem in favor of beer which has the line "Cocoa is a Cad"-- an obvious reference to Cadbury's anti-pub stance. The Ball And The Cross, Manalive, The Flying Inn (Collected Works of Gk Chesterton) Guinness provided free medical care and on site doctors for his workers. In England this went further, with inspectors regulating every aspect of the life of the poor. Eventually this led to the eugenics movement and forced sterilization in England, America, and around the world. In America, Margaret Sanger's original goal, for instance, was entirely ethnic: to limit the numbers of Jews, blacks, and Irish Catholics. Eugenics and Other Evils : An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State

As Mansfield notes, during the Irish potato famine, the British government "did nothing" to help, prompting "A Modest Proposal" from Jonathan Swift, a rector at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the author of Gulliver's Travels, with the bleak and sardonic proposal that the Irish poor eat their young. A bit farther afield, Mansfield decries the split between the sacred and profane that he says Catholics created, and Martin Luther healed. The Puritans, he notes, would hoist a cold one, as would the German reformer. Chesterton, on the other hand, would say it was the other way round, noting that the puritans outlawed the celebration of Christmas, and Martin Luther closed the monasteries which were the breweries of the day.

Mansfield says the available info on the Guinnesses is rather sketchy, but by the end of the book, there seems to be quite a bit. I looked for apologist and writer Os Guinness in the last chapter on twentieth century Guinnesses, but he was not among those present. Is he not in the lineage? The question will have to wait. All that said, Mansfield piqued my interest enough to want, well, another pull at the tap. I'm ready to relax with a tall, cool one, maybe a Harp lager, whenever he wants to tell the rest of the story.
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on June 7, 2017
The title drew me in; I enjoyed it to the last page. I even read all the acknowledgements. I'm likely to read other books on this amazing family and titan of business. I'll need to since it accomplishes the author's purpose but now I'm so curious I want to delve deeper into the "three lines" of the Guinness family story. Mansfield knows how to spin a tale, give the REAL story,yet keep it moving, does not get bogged down. I love my Guinness beer and my Lord even more. I want to seek "to do good", even more now as an expression of my concern for my fellow man, and out of a heart of gratitude for God's blessings.
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on May 7, 2017
This is the type of book that when it ends, you don't want it to. There is so much wisdom in these pages, that you want it to go on and on. The story is fascinating, the people are interesting, the lessons learned are invaluable. This is the kind of book that needs to be read, digested, and reread. I'm surprised not having heard much about this in recent years, because it ought to be a modern classic - in the biography section at least. There are business lessons, moral lesson, encouragement, fascinating people, and insights into marketing and innovation that transcend the merely tactical, and get into their driving forces. Highly enjoyed this and highly recommend.
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on June 3, 2010
If you like beer, especially stout, and history, you're going to like Stephen Mansfield's latest work, The Search for God and Guinness. Mansfield tells the story of the Guinness family and how many of its foremost leaders took their Christian faith seriously. So serious that they not only made Guinness the number one selling stout but also used their wealth to help the poor and needy. Moreover, they made the Guinness brewery an outstanding place to work even by today's standards.

Mansfield, who researched the Guinness family well, does a wonderful job drawing us in to the Guinness family and detailing many of their contributions to society and indeed the world. This is not a book, however, if you're looking for brewing techniques or beer marketing strategies. Rather, it's a trip through history beginning before the days of Arthur Guinness and his successful brewery all the way to the present. Most of all, we see the faith, generosity, and social conscience that was so much a part of many of their lives. The family legacy was handed down father to son for two centuries, sometimes to the unwilling. Yet, the Guinness name prevailed and the company prospered and often did so in difficult circumstances. Not all of the family history was rosy either for we also learn a bit about the black sheep in the line that squandered their family money and were a disappointment. And the reader will see how two world wars caused sales to plummet but with the appropriate postwar changes, the company rebounded and came to be what it is today.

This is certainly an entertaining read. It's not technical but rather informative. As a beer lover and Christian myself, I wish there had been more detail about their Christian beliefs. With the exception of Henry Guinness who became a notable preacher, this detail is lacking. Perhaps there was not enough to document.

Overall, this is a fine read and I eagerly recommend it, especially as you sit and devour it with a tall Guinness at your side.

The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World
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My son-in-law loved this book. He's a big Guinness fan, so it seemed a perfect gift for him. Turned out it was as he enjoyed the book Learning about the history of the favorite brew made it more enjoyable. The book is well written and engrossing.
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on April 21, 2017
Guaranteed to upset uptight tee-totaling elements of Evangelicalism. The story is what it is and I was surprised to see the connection of Guinness so closely tied to Christians.
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on January 23, 2014
Any author that 'has his life and convictions threatened' for writing THE FAITH OF BARACK OBAMA by other Jesus Followers(?) has
something to say. Thus the introduction and the social impact chapter of the Guinness family and company, is worth the read.
Great history and perspective, both of beer making and the Guinness family. The redeeming health of Guinness in the midst of 1700's dysentery and death is noteworthy. The "dysfunction" of the Guinness family is touched on for reality and perspective.

I now use "ice cream" and a pint of Guinness to 'celebrate' birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. Even a good golf round
where I get a par or two, qualifies. I was privileged to visit GUINNESS WAREHOUSE and meet one of the CEO's/'brewmeisters-- FERGAL MURRAY. I later sent him an 'author signed' copy of this book, thanks to Mr. Stephen Mansfield.
IF you are a closed minded 'teetotaler' this book is not for you. If you want to tap into the wideness of God's provincial grace and scope of 'mission-minded' and visionary applications of beer, give it a good read.
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