A Brief History of Vice: How Bad Behavior Built Civilizationby Published 09 Aug 2016
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From an editor at the popular humor site Cracked.com and one of the writers of the bestselling You Might Be a Zombie and The De-Textbook, a rollicking look at vice throughout history, complete with instructions for re-creating debauchery at home.
Part history lesson, part how-to guide, A Brief History of Vice includes interviews with experts and original experimentation to bring readers a history of some of humanity's most prominent vices, along with explanations for how each of them helped humans rise to the top of the food chain. Evans connects the dots between coffee and its Islamic origins, the drug ephedra and Mormons, music and Stonehenge, and much more. Chapters also include step-by-step guides for re-creating prehistoric debauchery in your modern life based on Evans's firsthand fieldwork. Readers won't just learn about the beer that destroyed South America's first empire; they'll learn how to make it.
"A Brief History of Vice: How Bad Behavior Built Civilization" Reviews
"Kartka istorija poroka" je zaista sjajna knjiga, zabavna, interesantna i poučna. Možda najviše podseća na putopse Bila Brajsona (koje takođe od srca preporučujem, "Tamo dole" sam, na primer, pročitao dva puta i svaki put umirao od smeha). Naravno, Bil Brajson je mnogo temeljniji i ozbiljniji, dok je "Kratka istorija poroka" dosta neformalnija i opuštenija literatura.
Autor u knjizi objašnjava kako su raznorazni opijati doprineli nastanku čoveka i razvoju civilizacije, a onda pokušava da napravi sve te droge ili pića i obeznani se od njih (ima u knjizi dosta preciznih recepata kako napraviti sumersko pivo ili kako se uduvati kao pravi Skit).
Bavi se takođe i psovkama, ružnim rečima, uobraženom i sebičnom ponašanju, hejtovanju na netu, obožavanju selebritija... kao fenomenima iza kojih se krije nastanak i razvoj čovečanstva i civilizacije kakvu znamo. Opčinjenost selebritijima je, na primer, bilološki imperativ koji je blizak i drugim primatima. A iza hejtovanja na netu stoji prirodni impuls koji nam je nekada, dok smo pešačili Afrikom, spasavao živote.
Za nas ovde posebno je interesantno da je autor u potrazi za rakijom od daždevnjaka potegao čak u Sloveniju. A u Sloveniji je čuo da Hrvati i Srbi prave rakiju od svega i svačega tako da je svoj istraživački rad nastavio širom Bosne i Srbije.
Autor nam u ovoj knjizi takođe objašnjava zašto je lepa srpska reč "jebivetar" veliki doprinos napretku civilizacije.
Topla preporuka ili, još bolje, uzdravlje!
Are you looking for a funny, somewhat decently researched book about sex and drugs and trash talking, with some trivia that will impress your friends and step by step guides to getting high like people in ancient times? If that is what you seek, then this is the book for you.
In contrast to the impression one might get from the title, there is, admittedly with a few exceptions, little information on how the vices explored in the book have formed civilization. Sure, Churchill and Stalin, who couldn't stand each other, became BFFs after getting drunk together and then they planned their invasion of their common enemy. I'll also grant that coffee is good for alertness which I suppose maybe results in a better civilization, but the author doesn't tell us how BDSM, getting high from mushrooms, or salamander brandy has helped form our society. This is not something that bothered me when I read the book, though. But if you expect to gain deep lessons about how you can use drugs and be a jerk and at the same time build a better society, then you might end up disappointed.
Much of the charm of this book, and it is a very charming book, comes from the willingness of Robert Evans to expose himself, or his friends and acquaintances, to ancient drug recipes and "cures" for various ailments. For instance, he tries to make beer by following the oldest known beer recipe (not a hit), he tries communal pot smoking (a moderate hit), and he tries to drink his own waste products to help self-inflicted, cheese induced, constipation (could be judged either way depending on your criteria). Evans keeps reassuring the reader that he did not do certain things and did not try certain drugs because "that would have been a felony" - an argument that makes me a little suspicious. Thankfully, the author always seems to have some "friends" who can provide him with whatever knowledge gaps the law prevents him from exploring in himself.
This book is entertaining to be sure. It will also give you a whole new arsenal of trivia to show off at your next party. The information seems relatively well researched. Evans makes references to scientific studies, even if he may be cherry picking a bit. Sometimes Evans prefers a theory because it is just more awesome which, as long as you are honest about it, is fine with me.
Taken together, I would say that this book was well worth the time it took to read it. I may not have learned a ton, but I did learn some new things. Above all, this book was funny, and I think, an assessment I think >90% of all readers will agree with. Recommended
An ok but mostly forgettable book. It's really just meant to be fun, and that's fine. Human vices contributed some things to society, but it's really an exaggeration to say vice "built civilization." It's just wishful thinking, really. The title is like the book version of clickbait. It worked, it drew me in, I clicked the link, read the book, and now I feel somewhat had. Much of the book is about the author trying to recreate ancient traditional ways of getting fucked up and mostly not exactly succeeding and that's fine, but in the month since I read this, I've mostly forgotten it. Although it's perfectly enjoyable like a cracked.com article, I would not say this is worthy of most people's time.
So, this was written by a guy from Cracked and it reads like a book-length Cracked article. Which is not a criticism, just a note. And beneath all the dick jokes there's a thoughtful book that delves into the role of ritual in the use of illicit substances, how things like music can be a drug and the fact that drinking schnapps with salamander poison can indeed knock you on your butt. Funny, interesting and well-researched.
Evans is an editor at Cracked.com, and how much you enjoy this book is closely related to how much you can tolerate their house style. The premise is pretty simple, pop science focusing on sex, drugs, and rock and roll, looking at how people in the past got high, and how you can do the same. The story moves from primates metabolizing alcohol to ancient brewing, temple prostitution, and then the medical uses of painkillers and MDMA. The book closes with an epic quest to find Slovenian Salamander Brandy, a semi-legendary drink containing toxic salamander secretions. Not a great book, but pretty fun.
*I listened to this as an audiobook, and the narrator did a great job despite some problems with Spanish words.