For God, Country & Coca-Cola
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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 God, 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."