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A history of humankind's love affair with booze, from the Sunday Times Number One bestselling author Mark Forsyth.

Almost every culture on earth has drink, and where there's drink there's drunkenness. But in every age and in every place drunkenness is a little bit different. It can be religious, it can be sexual, it can be the duty of kings or the relief of peasants. It can be an offering to the ancestors, or a way of marking the end of a day's work. It can send you to sleep, or send you into battle.

A Short History of Drunkenness traces humankind's love affair with booze from our primate ancestors through to Prohibition and modern Japanese Nomikai. On the way, learn about the Neolithic Shamans, who drank to communicate with the spirit world (no pun intended), marvel at the beer King Midas was buried with, and attempt to resist the urge to try the Aztecs' alcoholic hot chocolate.

From Australia's only military coup - the Rum Rebellion - to the gin epidemic of eighteenth-century London, Forsyth elegantly presents a history of the world at its inebriated best.

Formats & editions

  • Hardback


    November 13, 2017


    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    November 2, 2017

    Penguin eBooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Mark Forsyth

A Christmas Cornucopia


The Story of the Jews
The Wife Drought
A Galaxy of Her Own
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls
The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power
The Better Angels Of Our Nature
Empire of Booze
The Water Kingdom
Long Road from Jarrow
Queer City
Home and Away
Fifty Years of Hurt
A Walk in the Park
The Long Weekend
The Black Prince of Florence
The German War