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For God, Country, and Coca-Cola

From its invention as a cocaine-laced patent medicine in the Gilded Age to its globe-drenching ubiquity as the definitive symbol of consumer capitalism in the twenty-first century, Coca-Cola's dramatic history unfolds as the ultimate business saga. In this revised edition of "For God, Country and Coca-Cola," Mark Pendergrast looks at America's cultural, social, and economic history through the bottom of a green glass Coke bottle and tells the captivating story of the world's most recognizable consumer product. The tale begins with John Pemberton, a morphine-addicted Atlanta pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola as a hangover cure and treatment for "neurasthenia" in 1886, and ends with a company unchallenged in its global dominance, its role strengthened by a successful turnaround after years of mismanagement. In between, a colorful cast of fathers and sons, hustlers and bankers, accountants and would-be movie moguls steered Coca-Cola to its present position, through ups (the introduction of Diet Coke) and downs (the introduction of New Coke). The revised edition covers the many challenges the company has faced in the 21st century, including everything from questions over soda's role in the obesity crisis to accusations that the company had union employees murdered in South America. Pendergrast also explores how America's love of the soda has also evolved into a kind of consumer religion, as evidenced by the Holy of Holies-like "Vault" at the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, where for a $16 ticket tourists can have their photo taken in front of the safe that holds the sacred and mysterious original formula for Coke. And of course, the book still contains that original formula, now with an additional version from the notes of Frank M. Robinson, the man who named and first marketed Coca-Cola.
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About the Author

Mark Pendergrast, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, grew up on West Paces Ferry Road, once known as Coca-Cola Row." Pendergrast is also the author of Uncommon Grounds Inside the Outbreaks Mirror, Mirror Victims of Memory Jack and the Bean Soup and Japan's Tipping Point. He lives in Colchester, Vermont.


A NEW YORK TIMES "NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR" "A ripping good story of more than a soft drink or a company, this book is about the whole of America. It may be the greatest American story ever." --New York Observer "Marvelously entertaining history." --Los Angeles Times "In For God, Country & Coca-Cola, Mark Pendergrast has written an encyclopedic history of Coke and its subculture, and used Coca-Cola as a metaphor for the growth of modern capitalism itself. His research and storytelling skills are prodigious." --Washington Post "Behind the glitz and fanfare, the bubbly brown beverage has had a tortured and controversy-filled history. It is meticulously chronicled in For God, Country & Coca-Cola." --Wall Street Journal "A meticulously researched history... [Pendergrast] aggressively sets the record straight about the birth of Coke, shattering company myths." --New York Times Book Review

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