A beer garden of a book that leaves no stein unturned.

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AMBITIOUS BREW

THE STORY OF AMERICAN BEER

From kegs to bottles to cans, the making and selling of beer encapsulates in various ways the larger history of American taste and how business catered to it.

Once upon a time, writes social historian Ogle (All the Modern Conveniences, not reviewed, etc.), dark ale was the liquid of choice. Then came the peaceful, mid-19th century Teutonic invasion. Occupying brew houses in New York, St. Louis, Milwaukee and wherever else German immigrants settled, Biermeisters began brewing Pilsner- and Budweiser-style lagers. Americans consumed the stuff in sumptuous beer gardens, the amusement parks of the day, and they drank it in the new taverns and in the ubiquitous old saloons. Then came WWI and anti-German sentiment, followed by Prohibition. Brewers suffered, and the happy days ushered in by Repeal weren’t quite the same. Industrial beer-makers lost more steam after WWII. They tried vertical integration from cooperage to barrooms; they tried mergers and acquisitions. Drinkers wanted their beer not too malty, but along with its color, the quality of corporate brew faded. Homebrews, watery lites and microbrews entered the market. Ogle gives flavor to her heady portrait of the American brewing craft with vivid descriptions of brew kettles, fermenting kegs, mashing tuns, malt kilns, cellars and more. The spigot flows with human-interest tales of the beer barons and their progeny: the Best, Busch and Blatz families, the Rupperts, Millers and Schaeffers, along with the Greisediecks, the Yuenglings and Uihleins (the last of the late, great Schlitz label). And she’s just as adept delineating the frothy stuff’s intricate business history.

A beer garden of a book that leaves no stein unturned.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2006

ISBN: 0-15-101012-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2006

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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