The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer That Changed the World is a book that I normally wouldn’t have bought in a store for myself. The summary made this book sound a little too historical and a little too religious. Yet, I trudged through this book just like any other and found some pretty interesting themes.
Stephen Mansfield tells the story of Arthur Guinness’ faith and blends it with his creation of the Guinness Empire. Philanthropy, entrepreneurship and religion guided the Guinness family to success. By introducing the reader to the history of beer through our modern lives to delving into a biography of the Guinness family, Mansfield does a good job at blending beer and religion—believe it or not. In today’s society, most people do not usually tie together thoughts of enjoying a brew while listening to gospel, so the author treads this line carefully. He explains how the Guinness’ and future owners used their money from the beer brewing success to create better work environments for employees, implement new Sunday Schools and assist Dublin’s poor. Though, Mansfield does boldly declare that “Beer is not simply a means of drunkenness nor is it merely a lubricant to grease the skids to sin. Beer, well respected and rightly consumed, can be a gift from God.” Now, before you take this out of context, you should know that Mansfield himself is a highly religious man who has a strong educational background in history, philosophy and religion.
Some Guinness Facts taken from the book:
- More than ten million glasses of Guinness are consumed each day worldwide.
- Arthur Guinness founded the first Sunday schools in Ireland.
- A Guinness worker in the 1920s enjoyed full medical/dental care, massage services, subsidized meals, concerts, lectures and entertainment and (my favorite) a guaranteed two pints of Guinness a day.
- Guinness is brewed in 49 countries.
I am disclosing that Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in return for my honest and objective review. All opinions and evaluations are my own. Learn more about BookSneeze here.