Alcohol in Latin America

A Social and Cultural History

Gretchen Pierce (Editor), Áurea Toxqui (Editor)
Paperback ($35.00), Ebook ($35.00) Buy
Aguardente, chicha, pulque, vino—no matter whether it’s distilled or fermented, alcohol either brings people together or pulls them apart. Alcohol in Latin America is a sweeping examination of the deep reasons why. This book takes an in-depth look at the social and cultural history of alcohol and its connection to larger processes in Latin America. Using a painting depicting a tavern as a metaphor, the authors explore the disparate groups and individuals imbibing as an introduction to their study. In so doing, they reveal how alcohol production, consumption, and regulation have been intertwined with the history of Latin America since the pre-Columbian era.

Alcohol in Latin America is the first interdisciplinary study to examine the historic role of alcohol across Latin America and over a broad time span. Six locations—the Andean region, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, and Mexico—are seen through the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, art history, ethnohistory, history, and literature. Organized chronologically beginning with the pre-colonial era, it features five chapters on Mesoamerica and five on South America, each focusing on various aspects of a dozen different kinds of beverages.

An in-depth look at how alcohol use in Latin America can serve as a lens through which race, class, gender, and state-building, among other topics, can be better understood, Alcohol in Latin America shows the historic influence of alcohol production and consumption in the region and how it is intimately connected to the larger forces of history.
“This expansive approach reveals several unifying themes and identifiable trends in recent scholarship on alcohol.”—Latin American Research Review

"Highly recommended."—CHOICE

“An engaging and illuminating volume that reveals a great deal about Latin American social, political, and economic life while also educating us about specific beverages and their meanings across time.”—Journal of Social History

“The potent cocktail of essays served up by Gretchen Pierce and Áurea Toxqui both excite the senses and, at times, blur the vision.”—Latin American Review of Books

“Engagingly written and meticulously researched.”—Bulletin of Latin American Research
“[Alcohol in Latin America] should make essential reading, not just for those interested in the social and cultural history of Mexico and Latin America, but also for scholars and students of alcohol history and drinking studies more broadly.”—Food and History
“The information in the book is valuable for a wide scope of research. For example, anyone interested in the nation-building processes of Latin America, women’s studies, independence efforts, temperance, or government control will find the collection useful.”—Studies in Latin American Popular Culture
“This is a valuable text, full of insights on the centrality of alcohol in the lives of ordinary and non-ordinary
Spanish Americans over hundreds of years. It will serve as both reference to track available research on the subject and as useful reading in graduate and undergraduate surveys and specialized courses on social and cultural history.”—The Americas

“This pioneering collection of essays will help shape a new field of historical research for Latin Americanists.”—David M. Fahey, editor of Alcohol and Drugs in North America: A Historical Encyclopedia

Alcohol in Latin America moves beyond the focus on the negative connected with alcohol consumption to examine the ways that everyday people understood alcohol consumption; how it tied them together; how it was tied to their local, regional, or newly emerging national identities; and the ways in which they used alcohol to resist oppression.”—Andrae M. Marak, co-author of At the Border of Empires: The Tohono O’odham, Gender, and Assimilation, 1880–1934
Alcohol in Latin America
320 Pages 6 x 9 Published: 2017 Paperback (9780816536573)
Ebook (9780816599004)

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