The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World Hardcover – Oct 13 2009
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
Mansfield tells the story in a straightforward and sympathetic manner. There is little flourish and, truthfully, not a lot of literary artistry here. But this seems fitting somehow in light of the plain, direct and sympathetic people the Guinnesses were. Mansfield's telling has enough detail to satisfy a popular audience about the family that founded this global institution as well as about the dark nectar itself, all without getting bogged down in brewing minutiae or the generations old gossip and conjecture which often finds its way into books on the Guinness family, much to their (and sometimes their lawyer's) annoyance. The reader is familiarized with the three "streams" of the Guinness family, those who brewed, those who banked, and those who preached, all of whom, in their day, were known as much for their humanitarian and charity work as they were for their vocations.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Outstanding read. Amazing family and business and very interesting insight into Irish history. I enjoyed it so much I began researching my own Irish branch of our family history.Published 7 days ago by Roger Berrington
Excellent service for delivery. The book itself was excellent and very informative. The Guinness family were great role models.Published 4 months ago by Louise Dudar
This product came quickly. The quality of the book was better than expected: Hardcover with high quality paper.
An interesting read about the Guinness Family.
On the website, [...], there is the slogan, 'Pure beauty. Pure GUINNESS'
The history of Guinness is pure beauty. Read more
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