"In an age when all that was old seems to be new again, Bernard DeVoto's The Hour couldn't have made a more timely reappearance. This book reminds me of one of the joys of being an adult---cocktail hour!"---Graydon Carter
"If in the well and truly made martini DeVoto finds the water of life' and the blessing to the spirit, so also DeVoto's The Hour brings to its readers the breath of life and a vision of themselves made generous, indomitable, and wise."---Lewis Lapham
"The Hour is not simply a piece of humorous cultural partiotism.... It is a manual of witchcraft, a book of spells and observances."---Wallace stegner
One part celebration, one part history, two parts manifesto, Bernard DeVoto's The Hour is a comic and unequivocal treatise on how and why we drink---properly. The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner turns his shrewd wit on the spirits and attitudes that cause his stomach to turn and his eyes to roll (Warning: this book is Not for rum drinkers). DeVoto instructs his readers on how to drink like gentlemen and sheds new light on the simple joys of the cocktail hour.
Drinking, Like Existence, is an endless muddle, one of the slipperiest boulders in life's daunting stream---we cling to it for support but end up even wetter than when we started. It destroys individuals and rescues large gatherings. It can tear apart loved ones but bring strangers closer together. It starts fights and ends wars. One drinks a right and proper amount; everyone else drinks either too much or not enough. One's own drinking preferences exhibit refinement and sophistication; everyone else's are suspect, as are everyone else's snobberies, recipes, rules, brands, and styles. Alcohol starts endless debates, and endless debates are best settled over a drink.
Such a state of affairs cries out for clarity, and Bernard DeVoto's splendid book The Hour provides it straight up.---From The Introduction By Daniel Handler
Bernard Devoto was an author, literary critic, and historian. In 1948, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Across the Wide Missouri, and in 1953 he won the National Book Award for The Course of Empire. From 1935 onward he wrote a regular column, The Easy Chair, for Harper's magazine. He served as curator for the papers of Mark Twain and gained popularity for his The Journals of Lewis and Clark. He was a champion of public lands and the conservation of natural resources, as well as an adamant defender of civil liberties.
Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs, and far too many books as Lemony Snicket. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and child.
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