The basic premise of the book is that world history can be explained by the beverages that were prominent during specific time periods. Tom Standage starts off the book with beer, and how it symbolizes the transition from a nomadic lifestyle to a more civilized and sophisticated lifestyle. Since beer is made from grains, it shows that the periods in which many people started to drink beer were the periods in which people transitioned from being nomads to farmers. Farmers learned how to plant and grow seeds, and then they learned how to make beer by soaking the wheat, and this symbolizes the transition from having a meat diet to a grain diet. The next beverage was wine, and Tom Standage explains that wine was the main factor to the birth of social status and eliteness. Once people learned that crushing grapes and fermenting the juice produced wine, all people of all social statuses started to make wine. However, elite people, such as the Romans, drank expensive wines in order to show off their status, while commoners and beggars drank cheaper wines. The next beverage was rum. In the 1400s, European countries put a lot of money into world exploration, and when they discovered the Americas, they discovered large amounts of sugarcane. They used their processes to distill the sugarcane and produce rum. Rum was so popular that it became a key factor to the start of the American Revolution. Since there was such a huge black market for rum, the Britain decided to raise taxes on the two key ingredients of rum- sugar and molasses. The increase of taxes created a disapproval in America, and that resulted in the American Revolution. The next beverage that Standage discussed was coffee. Muslim people drank coffee for a long time since Muslims were not allowed to utilize alcohol, and because of the strong Muslim trade system, coffee spread to Europe, and it became really popular during the Enlightenment movement. Europeans enjoyed coffee so much because it advocated for intellectual thinking and gave the boost of energy that civilians needed. The next beverage was tea. Tea was very popular in China, and in the 1500s, tea spread to Europe, and many countries started to enjoy tea, especially Britain, who depended on China for their tea supply. This enormous dependence on China caused the Opium Wars, and it was to make sure that Britain wouldn’t fall into debt while buying large amounts of tea from China. The last beverage that Tom Standage discusses was none other than Coca-cola, one of the most popular drinks of the twentieth-century. Coca-cola symbolized America’s immense power in the world, and it became very popular during WWII, when company supplied a coke to all the soldiers. Coca-cola was also a big part of the Cold war because the USSR refused to let coke be shipped to them because of it would benefit the US’s economy.