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Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times (Anglais) Broché – 28 novembre 2006

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Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times + Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“Compelling… a lovingly written ode to this incomparable, festive wine.” (New York Newsday on Champagne)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Throughout history, waves of invaders have coveted the northeast corner of France: Attila the Hun in the fifth century, the English in the Hundred Years War, the Prussians in the nineteenth century. Yet this region – which historians say has suffered more battles and wars than any other place on earth – is also the birthplace of one thing the entire world equates with good times, friendship and celebration: champagne.

Champagne is the story of the world's favourite wine. It tells how a sparkling beverage that became the toast of society during the Belle Epoque emerged after World War I as a global icon of fine taste and good living. The book celebrates the gutsy, larger–than–life characters whose proud determination nurtured and preserved the land and its grapes throughout centuries of conflict.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 320 pages
  • Editeur : Harper Perennial (28 novembre 2006)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 006073793X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060737931
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,5 x 1,8 x 20,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 136.202 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Very much enjoyed the read, the book is well written and the topic captivating. This is a book I will probably read again and I am happy to recommend it.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 27 commentaires
37 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Silly Nonsense 1 mars 2007
Par R. S. Vavasour - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I found this book--which I finally threw down unfinished in irritation after the umpteenth faux "fact" was presented--trite beyond belief. I presume that a history is factual. This was not. The authors presented so much factually wrong, unsupported information and claims that I finally decided I could not justify spending more time reading it. For instance, they claim that both Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette drank champagne with a last meal before their executions. Well, Louis did enjoy a fairly good meal--without champagne--before his execution. Marie Antoinette, however, was so brutally treated and degraded by her captors as the Widow Capet before hers that there most assuredly was no "last meal" for her, much less a champagne chaser. Her maid recounted the details of her prevailing upon her to eat a few mouthfuls of some vermicelli which she warmed up on her stove in her cell. If she drank anything it was water--likely from the nearby and very polluted Seine. Anyone offering her champagne would have most certainly ended up being arrested for royalist sympathies. With all the many fine sources out there on both of these executionsw, how can the Kladstrups get away with printing such trite, factually wrong drivel merely to add some silly patina of faux glamour to their thesis? Then they go on to describe the aristocrats being guillotined, describing how the victims were forced to kneel and put their heads on the block. Have the Kladstrups even the remotest familiarity with how a guillotine works?? There is no block. There is no kneeling. There is no cooperation by the victim whatsoever. Read any source on the topic. Yet again, the Kladstrups trot out rubbish which is not even factually close to correct. Their description of the executions of Desmoulins and Danton--whom they falsely claim were drunk and singing a drinking song as they awaited their executions--round out this litany of utterly fabricated nonsense by which they attempt to link champagne to just about every event in French history. So. With so much drivel and made up "fact", how can one trust, much less enjoy, any of their other assertions in this so-called history? Definitely a candidate for recycling--or the outhouse.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A sparkling story 15 janvier 2006
Par Jon Hunt - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Don and Petie Kladstrup's new book, "Champagne", is a serious but lively romp through the history of champagne...champagne, the drink and Champagne, the region. It is also a revealing look at the French and how they defended what became their national symbol through war and (literally) pestilence. Defend it they did, to their credit and our good fortune.

Written as a timeline, "Champagne" begins in the Middle Ages with an almost startling revelation....the bubbles in the wine, so essential to its success and taste in later years, were considered to be a flaw. The drink as we know it today must have borne little or no resemblance to what was consumed hundreds of years ago. The Kladstrups delve into many other aspects of the making and the keeping of champagne which are as engrossing as their sediment was handled, the trials and errors of storing champagne so the bottles would not explode, the care of the vineyards, and so on. I was surprised to hear that dry champagne was a rather late development and that its initial offerings were met with resistance as most people preferred their champagne to be sweet. The transportation of champagne is one of the more humorous parts of this offering.

As much as this book concerns itself with the product, it is even more a story of people and politics. The effects that wars had on the region of Champagne (and no one really knows where those boundaries begin and end) make it all the more surprising that champagne could ever have survived the onlsaught of armies inflicting a tremendous toll, most notably during World War I, on the vineyards and the people who owned and operated them. The tragedy of the levelling of the city of Reims during the war can be coupled with the infestation of the deadly phylloxera, which ruined crops for years.

The recurring theme in "Champagne", however, is the heart of the French people, who have overcome all of these assaults to secure their national pride through champagne. According to the commander of French forces in Reims, "as long as there is champagne here, we will defend it". That quote sums it up in the best possible way.

"Champagne" is as delightful a book as the drink itself. In fact, I'd suggest the reader pour a glass or two while reading it. Thank you, Don and Petie Kladstrup for giving us this wonderful history of champagne.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Abrupt end 26 avril 2006
Par LAR - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I found the book an enjoyable read even though the authors' writing was a bit trite and simplistic. It did lack some flow in areas as the writers simply jumped from vignette to vignette, albeit they were all fairly entertaining. My biggest criticism is that the authors seemed to have lost interest in finishing the book. After taking us through several centuries of relevant history, approximately 60 pages was devoted to the plight of Champagne/champagne during WWI (which was, in my opinion, appropriate). However, only about 8 pages accounted for the WWII years, and then....the end! Apparently, there have been no new or interesting developments in Champagne / of champagne during the past six decades. I find this hard to believe, and is thus my biggest disappointment with the book.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A dramatic look at the war-torn history of Champagne 11 février 2009
Par Darby - Publié sur
Format: Broché
After having read the Kladstrup's previous book, "Wine and War: The French, The Nazis, and France's Greatest Treasure", I knew I was in for a treat when a friend handed me a copy of their latest offering: "Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times".

I was not disappointed. The authors have once again given readers a highly enjoyable (and exhaustively footnoted) peek into the history of the Champagne region of France, and the origins of, and dramatic evolutionary style changes in, its namesake wine.

Told in a style that's somewhat evocative of Ken Burn's highly acclaimed "Civil War" Epic, we see a countryside repeatedly overrun, looted and destroyed by the conquering hordes of Attila the Hun, the Roman Empire, the Prussians (Napoleonic era), and Germany (WWI & WWII); a countryside at war with itself (first the French Revolution, then riots over outsourcing and regional labeling); and a countryside devastated by vine-destroying pests (phylloxera) and recurring economic hardships (Prohibition, and the Great Depression). From each period, the authors give insightful glances behind the scenes, from the vantage point of growers, winemakers, cellar masters, merchants, soldiers, local residents, and community leaders who are repeatedly driven by circumstances to extraordinary measures - such as staging public protests, evacuating entire communitites into underground limestone tunnels during wartime bombardment, and engaging in armed resistance, and even international smuggling, in order to defend their lives, vines and livelihood.

Also included is a refreshing attempt to strip away much of the self-serving disinformation (much of it still repeated even to this very day) surrounding the posthumously exalted Monk, Dom Perignon who, contrary to myth and rumor, was neither blind, nor the inventor of Champagne (which actually invented itself). The authors give the reader a clearer picture of a meticulous man devoted to improving the winemaker's art - techniques such as boosting wine quality by reducing vine yields, improved bottles and closures, and refining techniques to improve wine clarification, and producing white and blush wines from dark grapes (blanc de noir).

This is a wonderful book, and a great read. I only have a few minor nits to offer:

* SMALL PHOTOS: Although there are 16 pages of black and white photos, all of them are needlessly small, squeezed too tightly into the center of the book, and are unnumbered and not referenced by the rest of the text.

* MINOR OMISSION: Although the authors do spend time on the vigneron riots over the unethical practice of re-labeling outsourced wine (which resulted in the AoC laws), they largely overlooked another clash of historical interest - in this instance, the propaganda war waged by the wine industry against non-grape distilled spirits. As I understand history, just as French wine interests began to suffer noticeable production losses (and price increases) due to phylloxera, the spirits industry happily stepped in to fill the growing void. Absinthe in particular enjoyed skyrocketing popularity, and was all the rage from the 1870's through the turn of the century. The wine industry fought back hard. False propaganda was eagerly spread about how the wormwood used in absinthe caused brain damage and madness. By the end of WWI, Absinthe had been successfully vilified and outlawed in most Western nations, just in time for the French wine industry to begin recovering in ernest from it's darkest days ... a classic example of protectionist propaganda. In hindsight, it's hard to fault people driven to the brink of extinction for doing what they had to do in order to survive, and the French wine industry (and the French people as a whole) had suffered horrifically in WWI. In any case, I was slightly disappointed at the omission.

* CONTROVERSY: I've seen some comments by other reviewers who claim the Kladstrups have dramatized or padded certain elements of their account. Not being a historian, I can't comment on that ... other than to say I enjoyed the book.

Despite these minor nits, I highly recommend this book: not just for wine enthusiasts, but also those interested in the broader sweep of history, and a gripping tale of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Things you always wanted to know about champagne! 15 mars 2012
Par Teacher - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This is an excellent book. Not only does it make you want to drink more champagne but you appreciate all the effort and history of this glorious beverage!
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