Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit

Bourbon A History of the American Spirit Popular history with a whiskey soaked edge Bourbon is Dane Huckelbridge s artful and imaginative biography of our most well liked and at times controversial spirit that is also a witty and entertai

  • Title: Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit
  • Author: Dane Huckelbridge
  • ISBN: 9780062241399
  • Page: 238
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Popular history with a whiskey soaked edge Bourbon is Dane Huckelbridge s artful and imaginative biography of our most well liked, and at times controversial, spirit, that is also a witty and entertaining chronicle of the United States itself.Few commodities figure as prominently or as intimately in the story of the nation as bourbon whiskey Its primary ingredient was diPopular history with a whiskey soaked edge Bourbon is Dane Huckelbridge s artful and imaginative biography of our most well liked, and at times controversial, spirit, that is also a witty and entertaining chronicle of the United States itself.Few commodities figure as prominently or as intimately in the story of the nation as bourbon whiskey Its primary ingredient was discovered by Christopher Columbus Its recipe was perfected on the Western frontier In 1964, Congress passed a resolution declaring it to be a distinctive product of the United States First brewed by pioneers in in the backwoods of Appalachia, bourbon whiskey has become a modern multi billion dollar international industry today As Dane Huckelbridge reveals, the Kentucky spirit the only liquor produced from corn is the American experience, distilled, aged, and sealed in a bottle.In telling the story of bourbon, Huckelbridge takes us on a lively tour across three hundred years Introducing the fascinating people central to its creation and evolution, he illuminates the elusive character of the nation itself Interweaving the development of bourbon to America s own rise, his engaging and unique study is popular history at its best, offering a lively and informative look at our past through a hilariously thick pair of whiskey bottle glasses.

    • Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit by Dane Huckelbridge
      238 Dane Huckelbridge
    • thumbnail Title: Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit by Dane Huckelbridge
      Posted by:Dane Huckelbridge
      Published :2019-09-03T19:34:27+00:00

    About " Dane Huckelbridge "

  • Dane Huckelbridge

    Dane Huckelbridge was born and raised in the American Middle West He holds a degree from Princeton University, and his fiction and essays have appeared in a variety of journals, including Tin House, The New Delta Review, F r iction, and The New Republic His debut novel CASTLE OF WATER was published by St Martin s Press in 2017, and his book NO BEAST SO FIERCE is scheduled to be published by HarperCollins in 2019 He currently lives in Paris, France, although he comes back to New York whenever he can.

  • 603 Comments

  • It wasn't BAD but it didn't really grab me. I like drinking bourbon better than I like reading about it, apparently.


  • This was such a fantastic book! I loved it and give it two enthusiastic thumbs up. And Bourbon isn't just for bourbon aficionados. Yes, the book focuses on bourbon, but it covers quite a bit of American history as it goes, making for an entertaining read for history lovers too. I picked this up because I'm married to a bourbon aficionado and I think this book has made me into one too! The author starts with the man who is credited with creating the distilling process for hard liquor. Now, yes, I [...]


  • When I poured through my massive American History text in high school, there was a mere glossing over on the role of whiskey in the Whiskey Rebellion as well as the correlating taxes that would help shape the financial infrastructure of our fledgling country. Mentions of whiskey were peppered throughout the pages, but I now know that I could not have possibly begin to comprehend or appreciate the scope of the impact of bourbon without having actually tasted and savored it. Huckelbridge's tone th [...]


  • This sumbitch can write. What an intensely packed and informational tract on the dubiously noble are of distillation. I'd love to meet this fella and throw back a few. This was such an enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining a read. Please get it - particularly if you are depressed. Hucklebridge mixes intellect with humor in a way that can only be described as intoxicating. Thank you Dane - wherever you are!


  • There's popular history and then there's popular history. This was, sadly, the later. I found Huckelbridge's book at best shallow and at worst a simple account of bourbon's past and it's relationship to the American "spirit." The book's footnotes were interesting but I found the book as a whole under-sourced (or at least the citation list was thin) and then historical allusions a bit simple. It's a rapid account of 250+ years of history (in about as many pages). While this gives the reader a sen [...]


  • This book was fantastic! The delicious combination of the history of the United States told right along side the history of what can be argued is America's drink! Like Jazz and Blues in Music, Bourbon is American - starting (and continuing ) in the stills in Kentucky and Tennessee, the rise of this spirit was at Mt. Vernon with George Washington (who made is own and sold it). It continued with us thru the Revolutionary War, thru our battles with Britain, thru our own Civil War it has been along [...]


  • Never dreamed that a non-drinker like me could have so much fun reading a book about hooch. Mr. Huckelbridge has an engaging and completely irreverent style that grabs you on page 1 and won't let you go. The history of bourborn is a history of Kentucky hill country, yes; but it also provides a history lesson about politics and social policy, social custom, changing gender roles, evolving industry, the rise of media and how marketing - and the whims of the American public - can make you, break yo [...]



  • This is an American book written by an American for an American audience - thus the often repeated possessive adjective "our" as in "our country", "our Founding Fathers" etc. It is permissible however for non-Americans such as myself to read this without permission or a passport. If those two sentences seem rather flippant and casual that's the style of this interesting survey of an alcoholic spirit whose name is inextricably tied in with the U.S. and its history. Indeed to read this rather brea [...]


  • 1) "Take a simple glance at bourbon's history, and the parallels become undeniable: a primary ingredient (corn) first cultivated by Native Americans. A distillation technique brought from Europe by immigrants. A recipe invented on the Western frontier. A spirit of rebellion born of social upheaval. A coming of age in the tumult of the Roaring Twenties. A global emergence in the postwar years. Sound familiar? From the Jazz Age to the Space Age, the Lost Generation to Generation X, bourbon has cre [...]


  • “Ray. People will come, Ray. They'll come to Kentucky for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. "Of course, we won't mind if you look around", you'll say, "It's only $20 per person". They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the distillery; sit in shirtsleeves on a p [...]


  • I was skeptical that this book could or would be interesting. I think I picked it up on sale, and as lover of whisky (mostly scotch), and based on the generally high reviews - I put it in my reading list and picked it up over a year later to read, half expecting to put it back down after the first chapter. But alas - I was hooked.What this book is NOT is a dry, technical description of bourbon. If you're coming here to learn how to be a great distiller, or how the family secrets between historic [...]


  • I'm not a big Bourbon drinker. I've had some mixed in Diet Coke, but my passion is beer. I respect those that have passion, and after watching the Kentucky Derby and all the talk of Mint Juleps when I saw this book while waiting in line to grab a movie at the library I had to give it a try. Huckelbridge does an intersting view of American History as it is affected by Bourbon. My biggest contention is with him saying the American West was wild because of the Bourbon, while I'm a believer that it [...]


  • My first thought when considering books on the history of spirits is to get ready for a huge nap. I mean, what is there to say? Some people discovered a way to get people drunk and boom, you got whiskey. Thankfully, Dane Huckelbridge makes his history far more entertaining and tongue-in-cheek than most (any?) other authors, making this well worth the read. And it does give you a powerful hankering for a glass of Old Overholt (okay that isn't bourbon but I happen to really like it)


  • I love bourbon. I love history. However, I was expecting this to be more about the history of the bourbon making families and the development of the process. While those elements were in the book a bit, this is more a "history of bourbon's role in United States history" than it is a history of the spirit.


  • I thought this was a pretty fun read. Bourbon certainly has a unique place in American history, and it is well captured here. Some of the tie-ins to history can feel a bit stretched at times (particularly the earliest days, which are not as well documented), but overall there were plenty of great anecdotes about our American spirit. Cheers!


  • What a great book! I found the writing style excellent - it was a great blend of American history and information about the growth and popularity of bourbon. If you like history and bourbon, this is your book. Pour up some of your favorite bourbon; sit in your favorite reading place; and be prepared to be entertained!


  • As an aficionado of bourbon and a fan of history, this book was a perfect blend of interests. Huckelbridge romps through history with a shot glass. That is not to say, it is sloppy, rather it is well-researched, rather it is to say, he carries a playful tone through it all. It feels as if you are on a back porch with an erudite and quirky friend hearing a yarn with some whiskey in hand.


  • This history of bourbon is fantastic and contains witty prose certain to delight boozers and teetotalers alike. There are interesting anecdotes about American history laced throughout the book, some of which even history buffs will be surprised to learn.


  • Interesting history, but not nearly as funny/hilarious as it would be suggested. The author goes for some gags he doesn't really need to early on (and then less frequently going forward), but once he settles in, it's a decent to good read.


  • Well written history of bourbon. Tons of interesting facts It's a shame non fiction books take me so long because I would love to learn more. Certainly makes me want to try some more small batch stuff.



  • A history of American whiskey as well as a little bit of the history of America itself.It made me thirsty to know more about both.



  • A lighthearted take on bourbon's place in American history. It's nice to read a history that doesn't take itself so seriously.


  • Huckelbridge's over-the-top cutesy prose made this book unpleasant to read and a quick recycle at the used book store. It's possible to write an interesting book without all of the phony hipness.





  • I planned to just skim this book but the author's humorous way of presenting anecdotes from bourbon's long history made me read it through.


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