Alcohol and its Role in the Evolution of Human Society

Alcohol and its Role in the Evolution of Human Society

Ian S Hornsey (Author)
ISBN: 978-1-84973-161-4
Copyright: 2012
Format: Paperback
Extent: 684
Price:  £29.99


Archaelogists and anthropologists (especially ethnologists) have for many years realised that man's ingestion of alcoholic beverages may well have played a significant part in his transition from hunter-gatherer to agriculturalist. This unqiue book provides a scientific text on the subject of 'ethanol' that also aims to include material designed to show 'non-scientists' what fermentation is all about. Conversely, scientists may well be surprised to find the extent to which ethanol has played a part in evolution and civilisation of our species.

Author Information

Following a successful career in academia as a Senior Lecturer and Head of Microbiology at Anglia Ruskin University, Ian Hornsey decided to concentrate on brewing. He co-founded and directed the Nethergate Brewery from 1985 until in 1999 oral cancer forced him to retire and take to writing about the science behind the brewing industry. Now a regular contributor to The Brewer & Distiller International, What's Brewing, and other trade publications, he has also written several best selling books.


...this book is an excellent and diverse resource for those wishing to learn about historical brewing ingredients, practices and the genomics of the various sugar and yeast components used...
Source : Chromatographia, 2013 76:105

The author modestly describes his book as an attempt to provide a basis for further research into the significance of alcohol in the advancement of mankind, for example in the transition of humans from hunter-gatherers to farmers. Nevertheless, he himself goes a long way towards this goal.
Source : The Biologist Vol 60 No: 1

"gives a description of the science and social context of its production from the viewpoint of a former academic microbiologist and professional brewer."

"with fascinating asides such as the politics of wheat use for beer versus bread, or the ceremonial use of sake."

"the discussions of the state of the art and speculation on the future of this field particularly interesting."

"Hornsey’s tour de force covers an immense amount of ground at an impressive depth. Readers unfamiliar with the fundamentals of brewing technology, metabolic pathways and plant biology may find themselves having to make use of the extensive references to get the most out of the text."

"useful addition to libraries that seek supplementation to holdings that cover the "fermentation of grapes or rice."
Source : Choice, March 2013 Vol. 50 No. 07

"...good addition to collections that provide mostly archeological evidence on the formation of society, religion, and agriculture."
Source : Choice, March 2013 Vol. 50 No. 07

"Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate sttrdents, researchers/faculty, and professionals."
Source : Choice, March 2013 Vol. 50 No. 07

Request Inspection or Review Copy

Email : Sales Office