Alcohol in World History: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Alcohol in World History

1st Edition

By Gina Hames


152 pages

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pub: 2012-06-15
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From the origins of drinking to the use and abuse of alcohol in the present day, this global historical study draws on approaches and research from biology, anthropology, sociology and psychology. Topics covered include:

  • the impact of colonialism
  • alcohol before the world economy
  • industrialization and alcohol
  • globalization, consumer society, and alcohol.

Gina Hames argues that the production, trade, consumption, and regulation of alcohol have shaped virtually every civilization in numerous ways. It has perpetuated the development of both domestic and international trade; helped create identity and define religion; provided a tool for oppression as well as a tool for cultural and political resistance; and has supplied governments with essential revenues as well as a means of control over minority groups.

Alcohol in World History is one of the first studies to pull together such a wide range of sources in order to compare the role of alcohol throughout time and across both western and non-western civilizations.


"Gina Hames has undertaken an extraordinarily ambitious and comprehensive survey of alcohol's place in global history. Alcohol in World History is a well-organized and highly readable study, one which should be of interest to general audiences and specialists alike. With engaging examples and careful analysis, Hames demonstrates the profound political, cultural, and economic impact of alcohol on world civilizations, from ancient societies to the twenty-first century." - Joseph F. Spillane, University of Florida, USA

"Comprehensive and analytical …well-balanced chronologically and geographically … strong on indigenous peoples, on colonialism, and on gender … based on wide and careful reading." - David Fahey, Miami University, USA

"Readers coming at this book with a general interest will find much that is of use, and will undoubtedly come away thinking about alcohol as a mediator of social distinction and power… [It] should provide a good springboard for readers entering this comlpex and fascinating area." - Dr. Jamse Nicholls, Reviews in History

Table of Contents

Introduction. Chapter 1. The Origins of Alcohol Chapter 2. Alcohol and the Spread of Culture in the Classical Period Chapter 3. Alcohol, Cultural Development and the Rise of Trade in the Post-Classical and Early Modern World Chapter 4. Colonizers and the Colonized: Alcohol in the Fifteenth through the Nineteenth Centuries Chapter 5. Alcohol, Industrialization and Temperance in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries Chapter 6. Imperialism and Alcohol in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries Chapter 7. Alcohol and Globalization, Westernization and Tradition in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Conclusion

About the Author

Gina Hames is an assistant professor at Pacific Lutheran University. Her research interests include alcohol and the creation of identity in early twentieth-century Bolivia and in late twentieth-and early twenty-first century United States

About the Series

Themes in World History

The Themes in World History series provides exciting, new and wide-ranging surveys of the important themes of world history. Each theme is examined over a broad period of time allowing analysis of continuities and change, and introduces students to historians' methods and debates in their context.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Social History


Why not download our Routledge FreeBook Exploring Themes in World History? This resource contains a chapter from Alcohol in World History, along with a selection of excerpts from other titles in our Themes in World History series.

Click here for more information, and to access this FreeBook.