Disclosure: Was given access to the digital galley of this book via Netgalley.
Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World by Tristan Donovan
I am a Coca-Cola drinker. I've been one all of my life. First the refreshing goodness that is regular Coca-Cola (Classic) and the no-calorie treat that is Diet Coke. This year I may have consumed more coffee than Diet Coke but I'd be surprised if I ever start drinking Pepsi. But I do have a fondness for Dr Pepper and I could probably go on and on about different soft drinks and what I think about them.
So Fizz is great for me because it's a history of soda. From the beginning when people were trying to harness the power of mineral waters for health benefits to Red Bull, Fizz is a great walk through soda's past.
Did you know that Prohibition helped increase soda sales? After alcohol was outlawed, soda was used as a mixer to try and make illegal moonshine more palate pleasing. Did you know that in World War II, General Eisenhower was a Coca-Cola drinker and coke set up bottling plants in North Africa to supply troops in Europe?
I will say that I did not see any mention of Crystal Clear Pepsi at all. I think people my age have memories of the massive advertising blitz surrounding that product launch and it doesn't get any mention. The New Coke fiasco isn't covered as much as I expected. Nor are the Coca Cola polar bears. (I just whistled "Always Coca Cola") . No mention of Surge or Vault or even that horrible Italian drink Beverly .
What I did not realize was the political associations of drinks. I didn't realize that Pepsi rode in on Richard Nixon's coattails and that Coke helped get Jimmy Carter elected. I am aware of the positive effects Coca-Cola has on local companies in international markets. It's more than just sugar(y) water. It's also the methods of business and standards of quality.
And a heck of a lot of advertising.
Fizz may not be my normal reading material. There's no love triangle amongst young people at the end of the world. Instead, an educational look at beverages which we may or may not drink on a daily basis. Four out of five stars.