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For God, Country, and Coca-Cola

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  310 ratings  ·  43 reviews
For God, Country and Coca-Cola is the unauthorized history of the great American soft drink and the company that makes it. From its origins as a patent medicine in Reconstruction Atlanta through its rise as the dominant consumer beverage of the American century, the story of Coke is as unique, tasty, and effervescent as the drink itself. With vivid portraits of the entrepr ...more
Paperback, 664 pages
Published March 17th 2000 by Basic Books (first published September 21st 1993)
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In the late nineteenth century, cocaine was considered a wonder
drug. Heralded by medical journals, pharmacists, Freud and even several Popes - Pope Leo III was a regular imbiber of Vin Mariani, a wine created in 1863 that contained 2.16 grains of cocaine, in the recommended dose of six glasses per day. No doubt he felt very holy indeed, and his long life and "all-radiant" eyes were probably less due to his piety than his daily dose of this "healthful" and "life-sustaining" drug that had been so
Mikey B.

Coca-Cola has to be the world’s most ubiquitous icon – the most advertised commodity on the planet.

Page 124 (my book)
If the dividends from that one original 1919 share had been re-invested in Coco-Cola stock, which had split eleven times thus far, the $40 investment would be worth approximately $9.8 million by 2012. Using the same scale, if a forebear had purchased one of Asa’s [first CEO] $100 shares in 1892, it would bring approximately $8.6 billion.

There are many interesting facts and tidbits
Tonight! Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 7:00pm
Carter Presidential Library & Museum Theater
Mark Pendergrast
"For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It"
Lecture/Book Signing

Free and Open to the Public
For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It

In this new edition of "For God, Country and Coca-Cola" Mark Pendergrast argues that Coca-Cola and Pepsi, on
Oct 24, 2009 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I read the coffee book ("Uncommon Grounds") by the same author a couple of years prior and "saved up" this book for a later treat. Clearly, I liked the first book and it fit in thematically with other books I was reading at the time on different drinks and liquids.

In this book, Pendergrast attempts to answer the questions of what's in the classic formula, does it have cocaine, or did it ever, and how in the world did they get it so wrong with "New Coke". But overall, this is a fascinating tale o
Barry Simiana
Good book. BIG book. A long read, at times a little stuffy but inside you get to know the names behind Coca Cola and the people who drove it from a medicine to the most popular(?) sof drink in the world. Oh yeah, you also get the "secret" recipe, but at least one of the ingredients may as well be named "Unobtainium".
As an aside, yes, there used to be cocaine in the mix but it was phased out 50 years ago, but there is still coca (big difference).
Some great anecdotes from people inside the organis
This is not a literary book, but rather a long, detailed chronicle of Coca-Cola's corporate history. It's fascinating enough, though I found myself reading very quickly over substantial portions of the book that interested me less than others. I will say Pendergrast's powers of journalism are profound; I believe he worked on this history for decades before publishing the first edition.

This is not just a story of Coca-cola, though. Like Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, the subject merely prov
Joseph T.
When starting out in the stock market, I knew that Coca Cola had to be in my portfolio. Warren Buffett enjoys a Coke every day, and other large organizations have huge percentages of Coke stock to balance out their income generating stocks. The red and white swirly font is one of the most recognizable images around the world - from the streets of New York, to the villages of Africa. But being a savvy investor, I wanted to know more about the company and the product before I put my money in. Mark ...more
This could be "Everything You Didn't Know About Coca-Cola, and Never Thought of Asking". Did you know that in the early days, a customer who wanted the drink was likely to ask for a "dope", to the exasperation of President Asa Candler? (And D.W. Griffith made a movie denouncing the menace.) That Marshal Zhukov made a deal with Allied Military Government to supply him with Coca-Cola -- but only if they took the color out, so it would not LOOK like he was enjoying the capitalist drink?

This master
Laura Little
Buying a Kindle finally facilitated completing this behemoth unofficial company history.

Growing up in the South, Coca-Cola for me had an almost mythic quality-- a Pepsi can, as far as I'm aware, never entered my childhood homes. Thus it was with pleasure I picked up Pendergrast's dense read exploring the minutae of the company's story, from morphine-addicted chemist John Pemberton's creation of the original formula up through nearly present-day. Rare is the product that has been such an indelib
Michael Greenwell
I liked this book's sense of adventure, and appreciate the author's interest and sincerity. I think he manages to offer a fair depiction of the company, although he sometimes seems to be parroting a bit too much of the company's propaganda without thorough critical analysis. My favourite parts of the novel are when Pendergrast show The Coca-Cola Company in context with the world around it, and contrasts its evolution with changes in society, either in America or other countries.

I wish that there
Joe Hempel
This review has videos and images and can be seen at

When you think of Coca-Cola today you probably think about how it’s said a 6-pack can take the rust of a carburetor, or how soda in general is the cause of most of the overweight issues in people today. Once upon a time though, Coca-Cola was an American icon. Still, I look back at the history of Coca-Cola and see scenes of days gone by when times were simpler and the smooth refreshing taste could change your day. For God
Entertaining unofficial corporate history of Coke. We follow one of the most influential companies in U.S. history throughout it's ups and downs. It is fascinating how much Coke effects popular thoughts about modern life from the 1880's.

Details: The book is strongest detailing the early Coca-Cola from the 19th Century through the War. The growth from a late entry as a patent medicine to the first mass advertiser is fascinating. The way the company thrived during the Great Depression and the War
Readable history of the company from its founding to the end of the 20th century. The author is careful to show the growth of the business in detailed metrics, but also takes time to explain the thinking behind the advertisers' campaigns, the always-contentious relationship with the bottlers, and the delicate balancing act between a foreign country's customs and the drive to make everyone everywhere drink nothing but Coke.

I was really looking forward to a behind-the-scenes story on the New Coke
Nov 14, 2009 Martha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Coke addicts, etc
Shelves: history
What I learned hum.....
John Pemperton made Coca-Cola as a medicine & was addicted to morphine.
Pepsi tried to sell out to Coke 3 times in it's early years.
CEO Woodruff didn't approve of adding flavors to Coke. He believed it could stand on it's own feet.
Iceland drinks the most Coca-Cola per capita annually.
The New Coke wreck in the 1980s worked out for the company as least partly cause they remade the orginal formula (& renamed the original Coca-Cola classic). It also got it so that they
Duane Donecker
I read this book last semester in my History Of The United States 1 class last year. Some of my fellow students thought I was joking when I announced in class that this book and Coca Cola was going to be the subject of my final paper at the end of the semester, and I was a bit worried about what the reaction of our professor wojld be. The professor it turnes out loved the idea and then as I began to read and research my paper I became plesantly suprised and amazed by how much of a role a "simple ...more
Justin Gerhardstein
This book serves its purpose, which is to tell the CocaCola story. Coca-Cola is of course a great example of an American success story that is attributed to pioneering globalization and mass-marketing to every facet of the world. This book tells of the crazy workers that literally made Coca-Cola their life, starting plants in Germany during WWII and finding new ways to market the American product to anti-American countries and in some cases, supplying a product that is a more stable form of curr ...more
MARK PERNDERGRAST, "Dios , Patria y Coca-Cola", Ed. Vergara, Buenos Aires-Argentina, 1998, 718 pág.

Al igual que la bebida este libro es un asco.

David Tz
With all the crap about how bad Coca-Cola is for you on the social media networks, it was interesting to read that people have been saying the same crap for the last 100 years. This book was a real eye-opener
Aside from late-chapter redundancy as Pendergrast attempts to log every single change in Coca-Cola's history, this is a great book that finds both the ambiguity and evil in Coca-Cola's history.
Very good read for Fans of the best brand in the world !!!
An interesting history of Coca-Cola.
Delson Roche
A must for all quizzers.
Bill G
I have always loved Coca Cola. But after this book, I became passionate about it.
Now when I go to restaurants that serve Pepsi, I get water. This book gets down to the nitty gritty of what it took to make Coca Cola what it is today.
It doesn't hold back, from it's cocaine beginnings to Pemberton's addictions, it's all there.
Read this if you are interested in the history of how a company runs, or you love Coca Cola, or if you are just interested in history.
in 1904 four lawyers bought from asa candler the rights to bottle coca cola in perpetuity, hence the existence of the coca cola bottling companies vs. the coca cola company of atlanta. candler, though a visionary, only saw coke coming from a fountain over ice, he never saw commercial/consumer refrigeration coming. he thought they were crazy the lawyers and, of course, they weren't.

Julie H.
This is a great corporate and social history of Coca-Cola. If you've ever been to the World of Coke in Atlanta, GA, this is a great follow-up for deconstructing all the hype. And best of all, Pendergrast was mistakenly handed--and publishes in the appendix--a copy of an original recipe for Coke. A really good read, and I'm moving onto his book on coffee next.
Gary Brim
A 450 page book with 250 pages of interesting Coca Cola history. Well written, but the latter half of the book is simply a retelling of the ups and downs of a large multinational corporation. Only the New Coke debacle deserves the attention it got in the latter half of the book.
Ankur Sharma
When i first time, picked it up, I was amused that how can someone write so much write so much about a soft-drink? Not any more! A 600 odd page eclectic history of the oldest existing soft-drink is worth reading every page, because of the lessons it teaches you.
Vicente Martinez
Interesting read. Beware that half the book is appendices and references. Nevertheless informative in relation to how Budweiser grew in parallel to Coke. But with nowhere near the level of nepotism and melodrama. Good read if a little worshipful of the company.
It was a really good book into the history of Coca Cola. Coca Cola is not just a drink but a force that has been involved in the successes and failures of many world events for the last 125 years. It is a history I had no idea about.
Carlos Chavez
very good was very suprised that my faverite drink had such a rish history and that that many people feel the same way about coke as i do. This was full of fun facts like fanta being invented by nazis and such.
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Mark Pendergrast was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, the fourth of seven children in a family that valued civil rights, the environment, sailing, reading, and games of chase and charades. He earned a B.A. in English literature from Harvard, taught high school and elementary school, then went back to Simmons College for a masters in library science and worked as an academic librarian—all the w ...more
More about Mark Pendergrast...
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