A History of the World in 6 Glasses Essay Topics

Tom Standage

A History Of The World In 6 Glasses

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A History of the World in 6 Glasses Essay Topics

  1. Choose one of the drinks discussed in this book and consider its social, cultural, and political significance today. You might think about the rise of craft breweries or the politics of coffee production. Do drinks still define regional or national identities, or are they now associated with global culture?
  1. In seventeenth century Britain, women were excluded from coffeehouses but tea was marketed to women in particular. Why do you think this was so? Have rules or customs around drinking any other beverages been gendered in this way?
  1. Three of the drinks Standage discusses are alcoholic. The idea that beer and wine in ancient cultures were drunk throughout the day everyday—much as we drink tea or coffee now—can be hard to comprehend. How did these cultures view drunkenness? What is drunkenness and how is it viewed in your society today?
  1. Coca-Cola is the only branded—rather than generic—considered in this book. What are some of the historical and contemporary objections to Coca-Cola, both within America and globally? Do you think these are justified? What do you think Coca-Cola represents today and what is its relationship to America?
  1. The custom of sharing a beer with friends and raising a toast to their health stretches back at least as far as Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia and is still practiced today. This suggests that history is sometimes as much about continuity as change. Does this book highlight any other kinds of continuity between different time periods?
  1. It could be argued that A History of the World in Six Glasses is also a history of empires, one told from the perspective of the conqueror, rather than the conquered. What kind of information might an alternative version of history include and what issues—or drinks—might it consider?
  1. While Standage’s narrative tends to be Eurocentric, he does acknowledge the contributions other cultures have made to economic, intellectual and scientific history. This is particularly true of the Arab world and of China. What are some of these contributions and what was their effect on European history?
  1. In his discussion of Coca-Cola, Standage touches on the controversial issue of globalization….
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