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.