72 pages 2 hours read

Tom Standage

A History of the World in 6 Glasses

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2005

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Essay Topics


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? 


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?


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?