Alcohol, violence and disorder in Europe, 1300-1700 (book)
A.Lynn Martin, Alcohol, Violence and Disorder in Traditional Europe (Truman State University Press, 2009).
Traditional Europe had high levels of violence and of alcohol consumption, both higher than they are in modern Western societies, where studies demonstrate a link between violence and alcohol. A. Lynn Martin attempts to determine if this link can also explain the violence and disorder of traditional Europe, from about 1300 to 1700, by using an anthropological approach to examine drinking, drinking establishments, violence, and disorder, and comparing the wine-producing south with the beer-drinking north and Catholic France and Italy with Protestant England. Both Catholic and Protestant moralists believed in the link, and they condemned drunkenness and drinking establishments for causing violence and disorder. They did not advocate complete abstinence, however, for alcoholic beverages had an important role in most people's diets. Less appreciated by the moralists was alcohol's function as the ubiquitous social lubricant and the increasing importance of alehouses and taverns as centers of popular recreation. The study utilizes both quantitative and qualitative evidence from a wide variety of sources to question the beliefs of the moralists and the assumptions of modern scholars about the role of alcohol and drinking establishments in causing violence and disorder. It ends by analyzing the often-conflicting regulations of local, regional, and national governments that attempted to ensure that their citizens had a reliable supply of good drink at a reasonable cost but also to control who drank what, where, when, and how. No other comparable book examines the relationship of alcohol to violence and disorder during this period.
Europe less smoky
For a few examples of the decline of the acceptance of tobacco smoking in Europe, see here. Thanks again to David Trippel.
Europe's smoking culture persists
According to the Wall Street Journal, Europe's smoking culture persists despite new anti-tobacco laws. For more, see here.
This Bud is for ... EU (says the Drudge Report)
The Anheuser Busch board is expected to vote on Sunday night (13 July 2008) to accept InBev's take over bid. For details, see here.
Finnish wine can't be sold
As a result of global warming, wine is being produced in unusual places such as Finland's Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea. Unfortunately, for the person producing the wine, European Union farm subsidy legislation prevents him from selling his beverage. He is allowed to give away his wine. Fortunately, it is a hobby for him and not a business. For more, see here.
Afghanistan, Russia, USA/NATO and opium
In the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, Eric Walberg argues that for the Russian people opium addiction was the lasting result of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Drugs added new pain to a people already deep into alcohol addiction. After the Soviets withdrew, the Taliban eliminated heroin production. Under the recent USA/NATO hegemony drug production boomed again despite the nominal opposition of the Western forces. By the way, the Afghans themselves prefer hashish, a form of cannabis or marijuana. For more, see here.
Science as a moral pressure group in the European Union (article)
Der "'Europäische Aktionsplan Alkohol' und seine Vorläufer. Wissenschaft als moralischer Interssenverband." In: Hans J. Teuteberg (ed.), Revolutionen am Esstisch. Neue Studien zur Nahrungskultur im 19./20. Jahrhundert, Stuttgart 2004, pp.282-318
(The European Alcohol Action Plan and its forerunners: science as a moral pressure group)
Viniculture in the Middle Ages (book)
Matheus, Michael (ed.):
Weinproduktion und Weinbau im Mittelalter, Stuttgart 1999
(Viniculture in the Middle Ages)
This is the first in a group of citations sent by Hasso Spode.
With the help of Calabrian crime families, do Europeans consume more cocaine than Americans?
Arguably, more cocaine now is consumed in Europe than in the United States, and the European cocaine trade is controlled by a loose Italian confederation of southern Calabrian crime families known as the Ndrangheta in alliance with the Colombian syndicate that produces the drug. For more, see here.
British drinking less alcohol (and much less beer)
Since the Licensing Act of 2003 has gone into effect, the British people are drinking less. In 2006 drinking fell 3.3%, while in 2005 it fell 2%. With a per capita consumption of 8.9 liters, Britain ranks 13th in Europe. There also has been a long-term shift in the United Kingdom from beer to wine. In 1980, 60% of the alcohol consumed was beer, 24% spirits, and only 14% wine. Now it is only 43% beer, 22% spirits, and 29% wine. For more, see here.