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Monday, November 2, 2009

Book Review: For God and Guinness....by Stephen Mansfield



“The Search for God and Guinness” by Stephen Mansfield is the story of the Guinness family and how the family and those associated with the organization used their wealth and influence to advance the cause of social justice in Ireland. Mansfield is a well-known biographer who has tackled Presidents Bush and Obama as well as Winston Churchill and Booker T. Washington (among others). In this text, he meanders through the story of Arthur Guinness (the founder of the Guinness company) and his offspring, sharing anecdotes and historical facts about the storied family – all while extolling the benefits of a good glass of Guinness stout.

I expected to really enjoy this book and the beginning didn’t disappoint. Though its organization is a little confusing (it starts with a sort of history of beer and Guinness in particular, then talks about history, then gets to Arthur after 30+ pages), I did enjoy the stories. I didn’t know that beer was often brewed as an alternative to hard liquor, and that everyone was drinking either liquor or beer because the water was contaminated. Fascinating stuff. However, about mid-way through the story seemed to grow weaker and I found less real information to support the idea that the Guinnesses throughout time were great God-fearing people, and learned that there were a lot of people in the early years of Guinness who did great things for God, and some of them were Guinnesses, and some just worked there. I’m a biography lover, but ultimately, this book didn’t hold my interest after about 150 pages. It was hard work getting through the rest.

If you like biographies and beer, you might enjoy it. I’ll still loan it to my beer loving friends, but I can only rate it 2 ½ pints out of 5.

1 comments:

fblife said...

Glad I didn't pick this one, I never would have gotten though. :)