on June 29, 2011
Don't look for the punch line here - this is not a joke book. It's a well written history with plenty of wry humor and chock full of fascinating stories. It's not just another book about bars nor is it a boring historical treatise. The author has meticulously researched and documented the ties between the tavern, bar etc, and the social, cultural and political evolution of America but written about it in such a way that it feels like a conversation taking place in - well - a bar. This is a really enjoyable book that taught me a great many things I thought I already knew.
on October 25, 2011
Sismondo is an excellent writer, combining love for bars and saloons with her own trademark wit and scholarship. As you can imagine from the subject matter, it is a lively and engrossing read. It would make a great gift for the man in your family who keeps watching history shows on TV or, heck, your favorite bartender. (And shouldn't a bartender get an extra tip at Christmas?) Come to think of it, it would make a great gift for a college student working part-time at a bar, too.