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For God, Country and Coca-cola. The…
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For God, Country and Coca-cola. The Unauthorized History of the Great… (original: 1993; edição: 1993)

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293368,970 (3.88)5
"How did an innocuous soft drink, more than 99% sweetened water, come to be regarded as "the sublimated essence of all that America stands for"?" "For God, Country and Coca-Cola is a cultural, social, and economic history of America as seen through the green glass of a Coke bottle. And what a quintessentially American tale it is. Coca-Cola began humbly as a patent medicine amid the fervor and chaos of Reconstruction Atlanta. A shrewd marketeer saw its value as a beverage, and it rapidly grew through the Gilded Age to become the dominant consumer product of the American Century. The key to Coca-Cola's success was ubiquitous advertising, as the Company's master myth-makers first created and then quenched the thirst of a nation. And when World War II carried American troops overseas, the soft drink went as well, laying the foundation for an enduring and lucrative presence." "Drawing on previously untapped archival sources, For God, Country and Coca-Cola paints vivid portraits of the entrepreneurs who led the Company: pious Methodist Asa Candler, who nourished the fledgling enterprise across the threshold of a century; cigar-chomping Robert Woodruff, who hosted presidents at his Georgia plantation; and the aristocratic Roberto Goizueta, whose cosmopolitan background gave him the vision to reach global markets. All have left their indelible imprints on Coca-Cola. Here, too, is a colorful supporting cast of hustlers, swindlers, ad men, and con men who have made the soft drink the most recognizable trademark in the world. The underside of Coca-Cola is also here: shady legal proceedings, cozy arrangements with politicians, brutal treatment of competitors and Third World workers. But, despite its occasionally tarnished image, the Company has marched zealously forward with its cherished product - and its global conquest." "Provocative, controversial, and always entertaining, For Cod, Country and Coca-Cola reveals how Coke has irrevocably transformed our world. As family saga, cultural history, and, finally, the complete story of an American icon, this book is "the Real Thing.""--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (mais)
Membro:npsia
Título:For God, Country and Coca-cola. The Unauthorized History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes it.
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Informação:PHOENIX (1993)
Coleções:Course Reserves
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For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It de Mark Pendergrast (1993)

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A huge tome! I like the way the book is organized, with subheadings to signpost the paragraphs. A good read if you really want to study the history of Coca Cola, but I much prefer thematic discourses rather than chronological telling. I didn't finish the book, but if you're a coke or history buff, the writing is good. ( )
  yamiyoghurt | Jan 29, 2018 |
In the late nineteenth century, cocaine was considered a wonder
drug. Heralded by medical journals, pharmacists, Freud and even several Popes - Pope Leo III was a regular imbiber of Vin Mariani, a wine created in 1863 that contained 2.16 grains of cocaine, in the recommended dose of six glasses per day. No doubt he felt very holy indeed, and his long life and "all-radiant" eyes were probably less due to his piety than his daily dose of this "healthful" and "life-sustaining" drug that had been so valued by the Incas.

Dr. John Pemberton, an Atlanta druggist and doctor - he held two degrees and had created a master reference work containing over 12,000 tests - was anxious to create a drink that would be healthful and profitable. He was not immune to the vast literature hailing cocaine as a wonder drug. "The use of the coca plant not only preserves the health of all who use it, but prolongs life to a very great old age and enables the coca eaters to perform prodigies of mental and physical labor," he wrote in 1885. It was a time when patent medicines and elixirs were all the rage. Soda fountains would often offer as many as 300 different combinations of drinks. Advertisers tried to influence consumers to purchase one in favor of others, and huge signs were erected along railroads and roads to get the traveler's attention. It was not unusual for a patent medicine "advertiser of the era to clear-cut an entire mountainside to that he could erect a mammoth sign for Helmholdt's Buchu." A contemporary traveler described, "enormous signs are erected in the fields, not a rock is left without disfigurement, and gigantic words glare at as great a distance as the eye is able to read them."

Pemberton's first product was French Wine Coca. It was loaded with cocaine, an extract of the kola nut (very high in caffeine) and damiana, the leaf of a plant with supposed aphrodisiacal powers. The concoction was advertised as a cure for virtually everything from nerve trouble and dyspepsia to impotence and morphine addiction.

Opiate addiction was a huge problem after the Civil War. Known as the "Army Disease" because so many veterans were addicted. Pemberton himself was an addict trying to break the habit. He was convinced that cocaine was the best treatment for morphine addiction.

In the meantime, by 1886, temperance was becoming a movement in the Atlanta area, so Pemberton began experimenting with a new beverage that excluded the wine. By adding citric acid, he eliminated some of the sugary sweet taste and eliminated the damiana but kept the coca and kola, hence the alliterative choice that his colleague Robinson came up with: Coca-Cola. They advertised it both for its medicinal benefits and as a new soda fountain drink. One ad read, "The new and popular soda fountain drink containing the properties of the wonderful coca plant and the famous cola nut." As it gained in popularity, the business convolutions kept pace, with Pemberton selling his rights to the business several times over. It was soon a mess.

Asa Candler finally wound up with ownership of the trademark. He remained committed to quality and insisted that his distributors (a rather unique arrangement for the time) not tinker with the syrup recipe, although some of them did, one adding saccharine in an attempt to preserve the drink -- it was also an ironic attempt to make the drink as sweet as possible. Candler never thought bottling the drink would amount to much, so he virtually gave away the bottling rights, a prognosticatory failure that was to cost the company millions in later years to purchase them back. He and Frank Robinson (the real marketing genius, who invented the script logo for the drink) soon were collecting huge amounts of money as Coke took off.

By 1900, Coca-Cola had become so popular it became a target for those who were terribly afraid someone might be out there enjoying themselves, i.e., the self-righteous, and soon pulpits all over attacked the nefarious qualities of the drink that was addicting children, of all people. It had also become a popular drink among the black population, and soon the KKK was suggesting that the black population was drinking Coca-Cola, becoming "drug fiends" and roaming the countryside in search of white women to ravish. Some white farm owners had indeed paid their sharecroppers, mostly black, with cocaine, since it was cheaper than alcohol, and cocaine addiction had become a serious problem. Ironically, Candler had already removed the minute traces of cocaine that had been in the formula. (The purity of the formula was somewhat of a joke, as several of the bottlers had added saccharin to make it sweeter, but also as a preservative.) The company by 1902 was promoting Coca-Cola as a healthful drink and the official Coke line is that the drink never contained cocaine, a typical PR prevarication, and not a particularly astute one since earlier company brochures had bragged about the healthful benefits of cocaine. In any case, the do-gooders, who wanted Coke declared an adulterated product because it contained caffeine managed to enlist the mighty forces of the FDA. Many expensive years later the suit finally died although Coke did reduce the amount of caffeine in the formula. They spent massive amounts of money on advertising, plastering the Coke logos on the sides of barns and giving out millions of items with the Coke logo. It was widely successful and soon Coke was the most popular drink around.

Pendergrast's section on the infamous New Coke marketing disaster - or was it really an enormous accidental success - is fascinating. The outrage was enormous, but the publicity that resulted showed tremendous loyalty to a drink. Odd hype occurred almost everywhere. A study at Harvard Medical School compared the douche properties of the old Coke to those of the new, and found that the old Coke killed five times as many sperm as the new Coke. That's weird. The company completely failed to recognize that Coca-Cola had become an American institution, an icon. "They talk as if Coca-Cola had just killed God," moaned one executive. Coca-Cola had come to symbolize America; it was "associated with almost every aspect of their lives - first dates, moments of victory and defeat, joyous group celebrations, pensive solitude." ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
The history of Coca-Cola and because of the place Coca-Cola has in the culture of America, also a history of the last century of America. If you think big business is evil then this will come across as incredibly biased in Coca-Cola's favour but as I don't, I thought it was a fascinating read. ( )
  JustAGirl | Jun 9, 2007 |
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Dedicated to the memory of
Roberto C. Goizueta, Coca-Cola missionary,
and
E. J. Kahn, Jr., Coca-Cola chronicler
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Prologue: The boss was a very old man, near death.
Part I: A hot day in August, 1885. The tall bearded man hesitated before crossing Marietta Street, one of Atlanta's busy thoroughfares.
Chapter 1: There's no question that The Coca-Cola Company loves it's own history.
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Second Edition ("Revised and Expanded") published 2000, first edition 1993
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"How did an innocuous soft drink, more than 99% sweetened water, come to be regarded as "the sublimated essence of all that America stands for"?" "For God, Country and Coca-Cola is a cultural, social, and economic history of America as seen through the green glass of a Coke bottle. And what a quintessentially American tale it is. Coca-Cola began humbly as a patent medicine amid the fervor and chaos of Reconstruction Atlanta. A shrewd marketeer saw its value as a beverage, and it rapidly grew through the Gilded Age to become the dominant consumer product of the American Century. The key to Coca-Cola's success was ubiquitous advertising, as the Company's master myth-makers first created and then quenched the thirst of a nation. And when World War II carried American troops overseas, the soft drink went as well, laying the foundation for an enduring and lucrative presence." "Drawing on previously untapped archival sources, For God, Country and Coca-Cola paints vivid portraits of the entrepreneurs who led the Company: pious Methodist Asa Candler, who nourished the fledgling enterprise across the threshold of a century; cigar-chomping Robert Woodruff, who hosted presidents at his Georgia plantation; and the aristocratic Roberto Goizueta, whose cosmopolitan background gave him the vision to reach global markets. All have left their indelible imprints on Coca-Cola. Here, too, is a colorful supporting cast of hustlers, swindlers, ad men, and con men who have made the soft drink the most recognizable trademark in the world. The underside of Coca-Cola is also here: shady legal proceedings, cozy arrangements with politicians, brutal treatment of competitors and Third World workers. But, despite its occasionally tarnished image, the Company has marched zealously forward with its cherished product - and its global conquest." "Provocative, controversial, and always entertaining, For Cod, Country and Coca-Cola reveals how Coke has irrevocably transformed our world. As family saga, cultural history, and, finally, the complete story of an American icon, this book is "the Real Thing.""--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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