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Book Review

Caffeine

Caffeine

How Caffeine Created the Modern World

 

Written by: Michael Pollan
Narrated by: Michael Pollan
Genres: Other Non-Fiction
Published: 30th of January, 2020
Length: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

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Description
Michael Pollan, known for his best-selling nonfiction audio, including The Omnivores Dilemma and How to Change Your Mind, conceived and wrote Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World as an Audible Original. In this controversial and exciting listen, Pollan explores caffeine’s power as the most-used drug in the world—and the only one we give to children (in soda pop) as a treat.

Pollan takes us on a journey through the history of the drug, which was first discovered in a small part of East Africa and within a century became an addiction affecting most of the human species. Caffeine, it turns out, has changed the course of human history—won and lost wars, changed politics, dominated economies. What’s more, the author shows that the Industrial Revolution would have been impossible without it. The science of how the drug has evolved to addict us is no less fascinating. And caffeine has done all these things while hiding in plain sight! Percolated with Michael Pollan’s unique ability to entertain, inform, and perform, Caffeine is essential listening in a world where an estimated two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day.

 

Morgan Hobbes
Morgan Hobbes

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Reviewed: 2020-10-07

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Interesting, But Could Have Been So Much More
The premise of this one sounded interesting, and it was free as part of the Audible subscription so I guess I can't complain too much, but this could have been so much more.

Michael Pollan, author and narrator, essentially spends most of the time quoting facts and history nuggets about caffeine, enough to stay interested but really only scratching the surface of what could have been a much deeper dive.

I did certainly learn a lot about the history of the humble coffee bean and how it arguably led to the more enlightened age filled with modern conveniences we now find ourselves living in but cramming all that into two hours along with personal anecdotes of what happened when he gave up coffee for a few months just felt rushed.

Did it make me think more about my coffee drinking habits? Yes.

Do I now know more about this history of coffee and how it affects me? Yes.

Would I have been happy if I had paid for this? Unlikely.

So ultimately, what am I saying? If you can grab it free as part of your subscription, then do it but I wouldn't recommend spending a credit on it.

 

 

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