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The Search For God And Guinness Hardcover – Oct 13 2009


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The Search For God And Guinness + Guinness: The 250 Year Quest for the Perfect Pint
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Nelson Books (Oct. 13 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595552693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595552693
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Stephen Mansfield is the New York Times best-selling author of Lincoln's Battle with God, The Faith of Barack Obama, and Benedict XVI, Searching for God and Guinness, and Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill. Stephen lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Beverly. For more information, log onto www.StephenMansfield.tv.



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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Bedard on March 1 2010
Format: Hardcover
Fairly recently I heard a story about the founder of the Guinness brewing company being an evangelical Christian. I was not sure what to make of it, so when I encountered Stephen Mansfield's Searching For God and Guinness, I had to read this book. One of the things that I appreciated about the book was that the author did not rely on the myth, even if it was a heart-warming myth. The author has done his research and presents to us an interesting and inspiring story of a family that tried to make a difference. The story begins with Arthur Guinness, who eventually gets his own brewery. The story is not about the beer he brewed but about the ways he treated his employees. His evangelical faith shaped everything he did and it definitely showed in the culture of his company. He took care of his employees in a way that would shock many people today. The book continues with Arthur's successors, as they faced changing times while trying to be faithful to the original vision of the company. There basically were two lines of Arthur's descendants, those who went into the brewing industry and those who went into Christian ministry. Still, the author is quick to point out that some of those who went the brewing route, were just as active in Christian ministry as they used their influence and wealth to help those in need and to promote the cause of Christ. In some ways, the title of this book is misleading. Yes, God and faith pop up throughout the book, but really the book is about the Guinness family, their brewing adventures and their attempts to promote a generous lifestyle. After reading the book, it almost seems as if the title of Searching For God and Guinness was intended to draw Christian readers into getting a book about beer that they might not normally read.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I wish I could have written a more positive review about this book, but I found it a genuine disappointment.

This book had a lot of potential to be a fantastic book, but there are two major let downs which are the author's style of writing and the author's personal religious views that bias his writings. The author did masses of research and there is no doubt that he knows his stuff on the subject, but how he communicates it, is very poor. The book is ultimately a long winded, meandering and dry, fact based narrative with detours that really go nowhere, which in the end, just makes it a difficult book to read. I just got the impression that, the topic was TOO specific for a book of this size.

Secondly, the author is obviously a religious man himself and wanted to write a book about his two passions in life, Beer and Christianity. So what comes across is a biased view point on a topic that throughout the whole book struggles to stay together.

There is no doubt that Arthur Guinness, his son and family did great things for the people of Ireland and for the improvement of social standards of the time and like most people who buy this book, they do so because of an already underlying enthusiasm for the Beer and the history of the man who made it.

I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about the man behind the pint that I love so dearly, and I did learn lots about him, but I did not enjoy the journey with this author.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Search For God and Guinness" is a parallel story of a business, the family who ran it, their relatives who served the Church and the role the business played in its community. This book presents a two centuries long tale which is as fascinating as it is enjoyable.

Guinness, as most readers are probably aware, is the world famous Irish brewer of stout, a dark beer, as opposed to the lighter, Pilsner beers which dominate the American market. The business was started by Arthur Guinness, the first Arthur, in 1759 with the purchase of a lapsed brewery at St. James Gate in Dublin. Throughout the years the brewery would grow to the benefit of owners, customers, its workers and those who were objects of its benevolence.

The book begins with a history of beer in the millennia leading up to the advent of Guinness. The role of beer in the legend of Gilgamesh, and the lives of St. Patrick, Charlemagne and Martin Luther and the economies of Medieval monasteries is explained.

Guinness itself would become a major component of the Irish economy. It would employ thousands and provide markets for agricultural products used in its processes. It would supply refreshment for troops in Britain's wars and become a worldwide ambassador for Ireland. Of particular interest is the section on Guinness' first advertising initiatives and the stories behind the posters which I have often seen in a favorite restaurant.

Business success enables other successes also. Operating under the maxim that: "You cannot make money from people unless you are willing for people to make money from you", Guinness was a pioneer in paying high wages and providing clean housing, health care and opportunity for self -improvement to its workers and their families. The career of Dr.
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Format: Hardcover
On the website, [...], there is the slogan, 'Pure beauty. Pure GUINNESS'

The history of Guinness is pure beauty. Stephen Mansfield does a great job capturing the essence of the history that surrounds this beer, and the family that built up the empire of Guinness.

I was surprised to read that beer was a huge part of the Christian tradition until the early 1900's. The author shows in the first chapter how the Christian tradition was rooted in brewing beer. Mansfield states, 'This theory is supported by the facts that beer is so intertwined with the history of the Christian faith that it is tempting to believe that Christians discovered it.' The author moves on to add Reformers of the faith like Luther, and Calvin into the history of beer and Christianity. Even stating that Luther's wife was a master brewer before leaving the convent to marry Martin Luther. The Christian perspective changed in 1917 when the Woman's Christian Temperance Union formed in America and led the country to prohibition. Because of prohibition this led to the increasing numbers of Americans drinking hard liquor rather than the more moderate and healthy beer. This also led the Church to take a hard stance on alcohol because of the addiction to alcohol that rose out of the early 1920's.

The beauty of this book is the history of the Guinness family. After all the generations the men and women from Guinness either ended up as missionaries, or being apart of the business. Arthur Guinness, the founder of Guinness Beer saw a problem with the harsh alcohol gin. Arthur's thought was that gin destroys lives while beer is healthy and safe, enhancing rather than eroding good society.
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