"Thirst is deadlier than hunger." "Deprived of food, you might survive for a few weeks, but deprived of liquid refreshment, you would be lucky to last more than a few days", says Tom Standage in the introduction to his new book, A History of the World in Six Glasses. A technology expert and editor for The Economist, Tom Standage proposes that six beverages: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola have been pivotal for technological advances in society and social development throughout the ages. Starting with the argument that the accidental discovery of beer in ancient Mesopotamia is the key to our transition from a nomadic to agrarian society and finishing with Coca-Cola's role in current globalization. A History of the World in Six Glasses is well-written, interesting, chalk full of history and surprisingly easy to read. We got ours at Powells for $12.