About the Book

13 April 2012

Don’t buy my book from just any Amazon – buy it from THESE Amazons!AmazonsSmaller

These warrior woman booksellers are Patty, Margot, and Linda, owners of {pages} a bookstore in Manhattan Beach. They are fierce hunters of good literature, and like other independent bookstore owners, they deserve your support. If you are not near Manhattan Beach, I encourage you to buy the book at your local independent bookstore – if they don’t have it in stock, they can order it. If you don’t have a local bookstore, I suggest that you order it from ALIBRIS.com, the online network of independent booksellers – the link is HERE.

“Rum:  A Global History” was released by Reaktion Books on 15 April 2012.

What most people know about rum is wrong: it wasn’t invented where or when most books say, and the most famous sea chantey about it was invented by a 19th century author who never set foot on a ship. The truth is more interesting: rum helped spark the American Revolution, was used as currency in Australia, entered 19th Century medical cabinets as a health elixir, and is still a sacramental offering among voodoo worshippers. Rum made long sea voyages bearable in the 1850’s and tikis fashionable in the 1950’s, and it once fuelled the economy of half the world. George Washington savored it in punch, Queen Victoria sipped it in navy grog, and King Kamehameha drank it straight. Rum’s evolution from a raw spirit concocted for slaves to a beverage for connoisseurs is a fascinating story, and this book is an introduction to the secret history of a beverage that has been reviled by temperance groups and celebrated by buccaneers, planters, statesmen, and connoisseurs.

I am doing signings wherever I can at bookstores, as well as lectures at libraries, colleges, and a few rum bars, so you can get it signed and raise a glass at a location near you! If you would like to suggest a place where I might do a signing, lecture, or other event, please email me.