January 26, 2011 History of Whiskey Is Subject of Book Discussion

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara, (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book, (202) 707-5221

“Whiskey: A Global History” (University of Chicago Press, 2010) is an informative, concise narrative of the drink’s history, from its obscure medieval origins to the globally traded product of today. Focusing on three nations – Scotland, Ireland and the United States – author Kevin R. Kosar charts how the techniques of distillation moved from ancient Egypt to the British Isles. Kosar will discuss and sign his work on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at noon in the West Dining Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is sponsored by the Center for the Book and is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Contrary to popular claims, Kosar notes, there were “no good old days” of whiskey. Before the 20th century, consumers could never be sure just what was being poured into their cup; unscrupulous profiteers could distill practically anything into alcohol and pass it off as whiskey. Kosar is the founder of AlcoholReviews.com. His writings on alcoholic beverages have appeared in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America and NewYorkHangover.com. He is an analyst in American National Government in the Library of Congress’s Congressional Research Service. Kosar’s book is also the subject of a discussion on Facebook. The new Books & Beyond Book Club is available at www.facebook.com/booksandbeyond/. Here readers can discuss books, the authors of which have appeared or will appear in this series. The site also offers links to webcasts of these events and asks readers to talk about what they have seen and heard. Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s www.Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.


PR 11-013
ISSN 0731-3527