Professor Rod Phillips‘ latest book, “Wine: A Social and Cultural History of the Drink That Changed Our Lives” has just been reviewed in the American Association of Wine Economists. Below is a short excerpt from the review by Kevin Goldberg with the full review available on the AAWE website.
Rod Phillips has been busy of late. In the span of five years, Phillips has written several important books, including 2016’s French Wine: A History (University of California Press). His industriousness has been our gain, as Phillip’s most recent book, Wine: A Social and Cultural History of the Drink That Changed Our Lives, may be his best work yet. In Wine, Phillips, a Professor of History at Carleton University in Ottawa, locates that elusive balance between structure and expressive- ness; while we find surety in the hands of an objective historian, we revel in knowing that Phillips—who also writes for GuildSomm.com—is a great wine enthusiast.
Wine is organized thematically rather than chronologically. In each of the book’s eight chapters, wine is paired with a broad, topical accompaniment, including reli- gion, war, and crime. This multivalent approach keeps the content from becoming flat and allows Phillips to demonstrate his mastery of the secondary literature. Subtopics within each chapter are dense enough to whet the appetite of the reader (I tallied a list of almost two dozen topics that I want to read more about), but, at the same time, the content never reaches the point of oversaturation.