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The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer That Changed the World

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The history of Guinness, one of the world s most famous brands, reveals the noble heights and generosity of a great family and an innovative business. It began in Ireland in the mid 1700s. The water in Ireland, indeed throughout Europe, was famously undrinkable, and the gin and whiskey that took its place devastated civil society. It was a disease ridden, starvation-plagued The history of Guinness, one of the world s most famous brands, reveals the noble heights and generosity of a great family and an innovative business. It began in Ireland in the mid 1700s. The water in Ireland, indeed throughout Europe, was famously undrinkable, and the gin and whiskey that took its place devastated civil society. It was a disease ridden, starvation-plagued, alcoholic age, and Christians like Arthur Guinness as well as monks and even evangelical churches brewed beer that provided a healthier alternative to the poisonous waters and liquors of the times. This is where the Guinness tale began. Now, 250 years and over 150 countries later, Guinness is a global brand, one of the most consumed beverages in the world. The tale that unfolds during those two and a half centuries has power to thrill audiences today: the generational drama, business adventure, industrial and social reforms, deep-felt faith, and the noblebeer itself. "Frothy, delicious, intoxicating and nutritious!No, I'm not talking about Guinness Stout I'm talking about Stephen Mansfield's fabulous new book...The amazing and true story of how the Guinness family used its wealth and influence to touch millions is an absolute inspiration." Eric Metaxas, "New York Times" best-selling author "It's a rare brew that takes faith, philanthropy and the frothy head of freshly-poured Guinness and combines them into such an inspiriting narrative. Cheers to brewmaster Stephen Mansfield! And cheers to you, the reader! You're in for a treat." R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., Founder and editor-in-chief of "The American Spectator""


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The history of Guinness, one of the world s most famous brands, reveals the noble heights and generosity of a great family and an innovative business. It began in Ireland in the mid 1700s. The water in Ireland, indeed throughout Europe, was famously undrinkable, and the gin and whiskey that took its place devastated civil society. It was a disease ridden, starvation-plagued The history of Guinness, one of the world s most famous brands, reveals the noble heights and generosity of a great family and an innovative business. It began in Ireland in the mid 1700s. The water in Ireland, indeed throughout Europe, was famously undrinkable, and the gin and whiskey that took its place devastated civil society. It was a disease ridden, starvation-plagued, alcoholic age, and Christians like Arthur Guinness as well as monks and even evangelical churches brewed beer that provided a healthier alternative to the poisonous waters and liquors of the times. This is where the Guinness tale began. Now, 250 years and over 150 countries later, Guinness is a global brand, one of the most consumed beverages in the world. The tale that unfolds during those two and a half centuries has power to thrill audiences today: the generational drama, business adventure, industrial and social reforms, deep-felt faith, and the noblebeer itself. "Frothy, delicious, intoxicating and nutritious!No, I'm not talking about Guinness Stout I'm talking about Stephen Mansfield's fabulous new book...The amazing and true story of how the Guinness family used its wealth and influence to touch millions is an absolute inspiration." Eric Metaxas, "New York Times" best-selling author "It's a rare brew that takes faith, philanthropy and the frothy head of freshly-poured Guinness and combines them into such an inspiriting narrative. Cheers to brewmaster Stephen Mansfield! And cheers to you, the reader! You're in for a treat." R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., Founder and editor-in-chief of "The American Spectator""

30 review for The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer That Changed the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erik Bonkovsky

    I love Guinness and I've been to Dublin twice. I also love God. But this book just wasn't that good. The writing is cliched and saccharine. The conclusions are unfounded and sweeping. I'd say it's a missed opportunity because the subject is good.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    (One and a half stars.) I'd never heard of this author before; I purchased the book based solely upon its title, which is something that I rarely do. As a huge fan of both God and Guinness, I thought I was in the target demographic. Within a few pages, however, something began to smell funny. A quick Google search revealed that Mansfield has a reputation as a highly politicized writer. (Mike Huckabee loves him, Jon Stewart does not.) I was puzzled by his early admission that he was not a Guinness (One and a half stars.) I'd never heard of this author before; I purchased the book based solely upon its title, which is something that I rarely do. As a huge fan of both God and Guinness, I thought I was in the target demographic. Within a few pages, however, something began to smell funny. A quick Google search revealed that Mansfield has a reputation as a highly politicized writer. (Mike Huckabee loves him, Jon Stewart does not.) I was puzzled by his early admission that he was not a Guinness drinker, but I thought that might lend a certain objectivity to this little history of my favorite brew. However, my nervousness with his scholarship began with his utter surprise that all sorts of earnest Christians, including Martin Luther and the Mayflower Pilgrims, loved their beer. I would have thought that this was unworthy of comment, but at least Mansfield was honest enough to admit that he was really starting from zero in his understanding of beer history. Mansfield then returns to the topic of the non-sinfulness of beer at the end of the book, as if to convince his gentle readers that they can partake in good conscience. (If he convinces any timid souls, perhaps he has done his own act of Christian social service.) The author's vague discomfort with his topic, however, remains clear throughout the volume. Mansfield sets out to place the Guinness family within a context of Christian social action, ranging from the mid-eighteenth-century founding of the brewery to the late-twentieth-century demise of family corporate control. Despite this worthy goal, his selected examples neither go into the necessary depth nor connect to the big-picture story that he's trying to weave. The author is doggedly determined to show what good folks these Guinnesses were, with very rosy reports of company social services that sound more paternalistic than helpful. Though Mansfield asserts that the workers were "enthusiastic" to improve their housekeeping and sanitation skills, for example, he neglects to interrogate the possibility that a lack of such "enthusiasm" could result in the loss of a job. Union conditions and comparisons with other contemporary Dublin employers are also conspicuously absent from the account. Mansfield's chapter on "Guinnesses for God," or the missionary / evangelist branch of the family, reads like the book that Mansfield really wanted to write. This lively section provides a six-degrees-of-separation analysis of mid-nineteenth-century preachers like Dwight Moody, Hudson Taylor, and Henry Grattan Guinness. Though Mansfield is careful to point out that all work, from brewing to preaching, can be conducted for God's glory, he seems most comfortable with the preachers. This made me wonder why he wasted time on the brewers at all. Except for the highly readable later chapter on twentieth-century Guinness, I didn't glean a lot of insight on the history of Guinness beer. Rather than "a biography of the beer that changed the world," as the subtitle promises, it's a very hasty biography of selected members of a family whose fortune came from brewing. This is an overly long review for a short book that I didn't like very much, but I can't help expressing my disappointment. Mansfield's topic is still very appealing to me: I would happily read a more nuanced account of the role that faith may have played in the founding and running of the Guinness beer empire. Any recommendations on a better Guinness history, faith-inspired or not?

  3. 5 out of 5

    James Korsmo

    Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy. This book is, as its subtitle proclaims, "a biography" of a beer. But, it is obviously more than that. In short, it is the biography of a family and a company whose history is seasoned with devotion to Jesus Christ and to the conviction that faith can be lived out beyond the walls of a church. In this interesting and readable journey through 250 years of history, Mansfield writes an engaging chronicle of how this family's faith shaped the ethos of a c Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy. This book is, as its subtitle proclaims, "a biography" of a beer. But, it is obviously more than that. In short, it is the biography of a family and a company whose history is seasoned with devotion to Jesus Christ and to the conviction that faith can be lived out beyond the walls of a church. In this interesting and readable journey through 250 years of history, Mansfield writes an engaging chronicle of how this family's faith shaped the ethos of a company and led it to be a leader both in the quality of the product it produced and in the way it formed a corporate culture. I can't say I'd ever thought of beer as a particularly healthy drink (probably due to a lot of baggage that often comes with the beverage in its American context), but its value as a safe and wholesome alternative to either unsafe water or to harder liquor in the early years of the company was part of the motivation behind its beginnings. I was fascinated by the way this company continually chose to be a leader in the way it treated its workers, from the way company doctors aggressively sought to improve the living conditions of turn-of-the-twentieth-century workers, to the preservation of jobs for people in military service during the second world war, to the high wages it paid. I was also intrigued by the pattern of heirs apparent sidestepping their path to the company for full-time Christian ministry. In all, this was both an entertaining and informative study on how one family and company have lived out their faith. It certainly gives food for thought on how our corporate culture today often falls short, and it also proves a great extended illustration of Luther's emphasis that vocation goes far beyond ordained ministry.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eric Parker

    Wow, I flew through this book. I thought it was so interesting and engaging. It just provides some high-level details on the lives of different Guinness family members and their works, but I think that's part of what kept me moving along so quickly. It didn't get lost in the details. Some of my favorite things I learned: -The same strain of yeast used in the original Guinness beer is still used today (~300 years later) -Guinness was passed down from father to son for 250 years -Guinness ran some re Wow, I flew through this book. I thought it was so interesting and engaging. It just provides some high-level details on the lives of different Guinness family members and their works, but I think that's part of what kept me moving along so quickly. It didn't get lost in the details. Some of my favorite things I learned: -The same strain of yeast used in the original Guinness beer is still used today (~300 years later) -Guinness was passed down from father to son for 250 years -Guinness ran some really genius marketing campaigns -A large portion of the Guinness family went on to become pastors, theologians and preachers -Guinness was at the forefront of employee wellness thinking -Guinness the beer company created the book of world records as a marketing gimmick which took off to have a life of its own All in all, a fun little book I'd recommend to any of my friends who have a passing interest in the topic.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Meh... Neo-con claptrap disguised as cut-rate history. The title makes you think the book will be a lot cooler than it actually is. Move on; nothing to see here.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Summary: A history of beer, of the Guinness family and the history of Guinness from its beginnings, and the faith that that motivated the social goods pursued by many of the family members who led the company, and others in the family line. Unlike the author, who came from a family of teetotalers, I came from a family that enjoyed a good beer in moderation. Most of the beers I grew up with were American beers and often my response to them was “meh.” It wasn’t until recent years that I discovered Summary: A history of beer, of the Guinness family and the history of Guinness from its beginnings, and the faith that that motivated the social goods pursued by many of the family members who led the company, and others in the family line. Unlike the author, who came from a family of teetotalers, I came from a family that enjoyed a good beer in moderation. Most of the beers I grew up with were American beers and often my response to them was “meh.” It wasn’t until recent years that I discovered Guinness, and concluded, that this is what I’ve always thought beer should taste like. So my curiosity was piqued when I came across this book in a second-hand store. I happen to love God and like Guinness and so I wanted to see how these two went together. Along the way, Stephen Mansfield took me on a delightful journey on the history of beer, including the long line of saints who enjoyed a good brew including the Pilgrims, Saints Patrick, Bartholomew, Brigid, and Columbanus, Charlemagne, Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Wesley. He traces the origins of beer, the science of brewing, and the different types of beer. A fascinating side note of this history is how beer provided a much more temperate alternative to the gin palaces and other forms of hard liquor that spelled the ruin of many. Mansfield traces the beginning of the Guinness brewery with Arthur Guinness’s purchase in 1759 of a derelict brewery at St. James Gate, Dublin, including his bold move to increase the size of pipes carrying water from the River Liffey to his brewery and “defend it by force of arms.” Guinness had learned the art of brewing from his father, brewing small amounts for an inn, and starting a small brewing operation before taking over the derelict brewery in Dublin. Influenced by George Whitfield, he used profits from his growing brewery to fund the growing Sunday School movement. From these promising beginnings, Mansfield traces the growth of the Guinness brewery through the generations, and the good family leadership it enjoyed in each generation. There was the key decision to focus on stout and improvements in the scientific brewing of that stout, the transport and storage of the product that provided consistent high quality wherever it was served in the world, and in the twentieth century, the advertising campaigns that made the brand ever-more popular. Among those working on these campaigns was Dorothy L. Sayers. Most striking in this narrative is the care the company showed toward its workers, providing medical care for employees, families and even widows, housing, and superior wages (as well as a couple free pints a day of stout). During wars they guaranteed the jobs of servicemen, and paid families half salaries while their men were in service. In many respects, including employee education programs, their policies exceeded today’s most progressive companies. The other intriguing aspect of this book is that while many of the leaders of the brewery were Christians who employed their wealth and position not only to benefit their workers but wider Dublin society, there was also a branch of the family, the Grattan Guinnesses marked for their pursuit of ministry and world missions activity. Mansfield gives us a thumbnail biography of Henry Grattan Guinness, an evangelist who was easily the equal of D. L. Moody. Mansfield notes that the definitive biography of this man remains to be written. In more recent years, the company diversified and passed from Guinness family leadership and experienced some scandals. Mansfield doesn’t focus much attention on this and handles lightly any problems in the history of the family. He does imply that the long focus on brewing stout was a strength of the company that was lost as they diversified. The emphasis throughout is on the growth of the company, and the positive contributions made by this family, and the influence their faith played in the good works accomplished through their wealth and influence. So I would treat this account as entertaining and informative but not definitive history. The book concludes with an epilogue that summarizes “the Guinness Way” in five principles: 1. Discern the ways of God for life and business. 2. Think in terms of generations yet to come. 3. Whatever else you do, do at least one thing very well. 4. Master the facts before you act. 5. Invest in those you would have invest in you. This suggests another value of this book, as an example of a business that does well by doing good along several key dimensions from its spiritual compass, to thinking beyond the next quarter, to having a laser focus, quality strategic planning, and respecting the dignity of workers, investors, and customers. While technologies and markets change, it might well be argued that these basics do not, but may be more crucial than ever.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    I read The Search for God and Guinness because of its claim to present an argument towards the compatibility of drinking beer and a Christian life. In a pros and cons, historical facts, and precedence sort of way I wanted to read a book that argued for the compatibility of alcohol in a Christian's daily life. I was let down. It started off strong in this vein though. In fact, I should have just stopped reading after the Introduction because Mansfield does a great job of presenting the historical I read The Search for God and Guinness because of its claim to present an argument towards the compatibility of drinking beer and a Christian life. In a pros and cons, historical facts, and precedence sort of way I wanted to read a book that argued for the compatibility of alcohol in a Christian's daily life. I was let down. It started off strong in this vein though. In fact, I should have just stopped reading after the Introduction because Mansfield does a great job of presenting the historical precedence of alcohol in Christian's lives and pointing out how it is only recently (1900s) that alcohol/beer was seen as such an abhorrent thing. I enjoyed the Introduction and felt for his arguments. However, once the real book began, it veered away from this path. It became a strict history of the Guinness family and the Guinness brand. I even felt that his early grand claims of how generous Guinness was to its workers was little explored in later chapters. However, this feeling of little exploration might be explained by the poor writing of the book. The same idea or fact was repeated over and over just in different words. Each new piece of information was presented as the best thing ever, or a person doing the greatest thing ever, or a company being the best ever. It became a case of crying wolf too many times. Mansfield chose to use such superlative language for everything that I became desensitized and lost track of what was actually an impressive achievement and what was just normal and expected accomplishments. There were even historic inaccuracies such stating that someone served in the Boer War at the end of the twentieth century when the Boer War was fought from 1899-1902 which would place it at the end of the nineteenth century or beginning of the twentieth century. This brings me to my final complaint of the book. It read like a high schooler's research paper. The research seemed to be mostly from secondary sources. He quoted and took from many other biographies and accounts of the Guinness family and Guinness brand. There was very little primary material in his book. This brings up the harsh question of why write this book then? The material has already been covered many times over by other authors. I can see that Mansfield did take a different slant than other authors by emphasizing the godly aspect of the Guinness family. And to give him credit, he did emphasize this. However, I feel the emphasis was in a way to simply present the Christian-ness of the Guinness's lives and leave out the other information. Thus, it was the godliness was emphasized because of there was little else to be emphasized. I enjoyed these thoughts from the book: "Rather than emphasize beer as an antidote to drunkenness, as a healthy alternative to harder drinks that, in excess ruined men's lives, Prohibitionists treated all alcohol as the same." "Whatever else you do, do at least one thing very well." "We followed our traditional policy of considering long and acting quickly."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tina Williams

    I needed a light and interesting read and this fit the bill. The story of beer and one family's influence that is far-reaching because of the founding faith of Arthur Guinness. They were mindful that they could make the working man's life better by paying living wages and offering affordable housing and classes to improve everyday living. If only business of today could operate this way. At the core, the family held a belief that work was good and sacred. Service to God and man was not limited t I needed a light and interesting read and this fit the bill. The story of beer and one family's influence that is far-reaching because of the founding faith of Arthur Guinness. They were mindful that they could make the working man's life better by paying living wages and offering affordable housing and classes to improve everyday living. If only business of today could operate this way. At the core, the family held a belief that work was good and sacred. Service to God and man was not limited to the church, although many from the family did pursue ministry, including one of my favorite authors and apologists of the Christian faith, Os Guinness, who is the great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness. Talk about generational blessing! Cheers! Let's have a beer. "The company did not drain a man and expect the church or the state to rebuilt him again. They invested. They paid high wages, offered every type of education, provided medicine, sports, entertainment, and even a place to think, and assured every kind of financial safety net for those who served them well. They also built houses, sent sons to college, and lifted whole families to new economic heights. They did this because it was the right thing to do..." (p.260)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Butcher

    Stephen Mansfield in The Search for God and Guinness combines two topics that many may find opposed, beer and God. Mansfield provides an overview of the long holy history of beer and its importance from ancient to early modern society. He overturns the myth of the establishment of the Guinness brewery as a God ordained antidote to the social ills of 18th century Ireland, but instead shows the determination of one religious man in Arthur Guinness’ establishment of the St. James Gate brewery in 17 Stephen Mansfield in The Search for God and Guinness combines two topics that many may find opposed, beer and God. Mansfield provides an overview of the long holy history of beer and its importance from ancient to early modern society. He overturns the myth of the establishment of the Guinness brewery as a God ordained antidote to the social ills of 18th century Ireland, but instead shows the determination of one religious man in Arthur Guinness’ establishment of the St. James Gate brewery in 1759. Mansfield provides a history of the first Arthur’s decedents in three branches the brewers, the bankers and the “Guinness’s for God” focusing primarily on the brewers and those who made ministry their vocation. The Guinness family history ends with the end of a Guinness directly running the brewery and movement from a family brewery to a major corporation. The history of the “Guinness’s for God” should be especially heartwarming to Christians. But more exciting is the history of the brewers. The Guinness Brewery is a story of a culture of generosity. It is a tale of care towards brewery staff who were better paid, better educated, better housed and generally lived better lives than their neighbors due to the loving spirit of the Guinness family. The positive effects of the brewery spilled into the streets of Dublin in the early 20th century to inspire social improvement and social justice. Mansfield is a historian who is able to successfully combine the historian’s craft with a heart for God. He tells a story that both challenges his and our views towards beer and shows what a legacy of love can do to impact the lives of others. His story is one that will make me less judgmental towards those sporting Guinness gear and one that makes we want to share the meaning of a powerful organization.

  10. 5 out of 5

    John Collier

    While it is impossible to truly separate the reviewer from the review, I believe that a book review should be focused on the book rather than the reviewer. That being said, I think a little context is in order. I do not drink beer or other alcoholic beverages. I do not promote the use of beer or other alcoholic beverages. I pastor a church whose official position is to not partake in any alcoholic beverages. The book I am about to review is about beer and the family that made this brand of beer. While it is impossible to truly separate the reviewer from the review, I believe that a book review should be focused on the book rather than the reviewer. That being said, I think a little context is in order. I do not drink beer or other alcoholic beverages. I do not promote the use of beer or other alcoholic beverages. I pastor a church whose official position is to not partake in any alcoholic beverages. The book I am about to review is about beer and the family that made this brand of beer. The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield (2009, Thomas Nelson) is the story of beer, of Guinness beer, and of the Guinness family. Let there be no question, Arthur Guinness was a committed, Protestant, evangelical Christian. His life and family legacy certainly bear that out. For those of you who, like me, do not drink nor promote alcohol to others, I think the end of the review will be interesting to you. While beer predates the founding of the Guinness brewery in Dublin, Ireland, by Arthur Guinness in 1759, Mansfield makes the case that Guinness was one of the first breweries to make a quality, consistent beer. The Search for God and Guinness is about 260 pages and only 6 chapters. The sheer length of some of the chapters made it a little difficult to read, as I tend to read in short bursts as I have the time. Mansfield would have done better to have labeled these chapters as sections with shorter chapters within them. The chapters would have made really good sections. They are: Before There Was Guinness: This is basically the history of beer. Mansfield goes back as far as the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and other ancient cultures. He estimates that, largely through a series of accidents, these people learned how to use barley to bake bread and that likely led to a discovery of how to make beer. The author then spends considerable time describing the role beer has played in various cultures throughout history, including the history and culture of the Christian church. The Rise of Arthur: Young Arthur Guinness learned to brew beer from his father who served on the estate of Dr. Arthur Price, the Archbishop of Cashel. After the death of Dr. Price, Arthur was left the generous inheritance of £100. Arthur Guinness used this sum to invest in his own education and experience in the trade of brewing. Then, in 1759, Arthur Guinness founded the Guinness brewery in Dublin by signing a lease for the famous property at St. James’s Gate—a lease that gave him rights to that property for nine thousand years! And this is where the dynasty began. He married, had children, and operated a successful business. At the Same Place By Their Ancestors: In this third chapter, Mansfield tells the history of the Guinness brewery and the branch of the family that led it. These were talented businessmen who were gifted in their field. They made the brewing of beer a more scientific process. This allowed a more consistent product and made it possible to export the beer to many markets. In all honesty, this was the least interesting portion of the book. It has value, but you do not really see it until the end of the book. The Good That Wealth Can Do: Because of the corporate and personal successes of the Guinnesses, there was a decision constantly before them: Is our wealth for our own benefit of for us to benefit others? Really, this is a question that all believers face. Does God gift and bless us for us or for others? In both cases, the answer clearly is that it is for others. The Guinness family built a corporate culture of generosity to their employees, their community, and their country. Some examples of this are: * A Guinness worker during the 1920’s enjoyed full medical and dental care, massage services, reading rooms, subsidized meals, a company-funded pension, subsidies for funeral expenses, educational benefits, sports facilities, free concerts, lectures and entertainment, and a guaranteed two pints of Guinness beer a day. (page xxviii) * During World War I, Guinness guaranteed all of its employees who served in uniform that their jobs would be waiting for them when they came home. Guinness also paid half salaries to the family of each man who served. (page xxviii) * A Guinness chief medical officer, Dr. John Lumsden, personally visited thousands of Dublin homes in 1900 and used what he learned to help the company fight disease, squalor, and ignorance. These efforts also let to the establishment of the Irish version of the Red Cross, for which Dr. Lumsden was knighted by King George V. (page xxviii) These were all things the company and the Guinness family chose to do. None of this was mandated from the outside by government, unions, or any other organization. This is also the first chapter in the second half of the book. I found the second half to be much more interesting. The Guinnesses For God: I mentioned earlier that Arthur Guinness was a committed Christian. This was true of many of his descendants as well. "Historians of the Guinness saga tend to divide the family into three lines. There are the 'brewing Guinnesses,' of course, who are the best known due to their connection to the wildly popular global brand. There are also the “banking Guinnesses,” who descend from Samuel Guinness, broght of the first Arthur, and have grown an empire that began with gold beating in the 1700s and continues in global high finance today. "Then there is the line that Guinness historians tend to call the 'Guinnesses for God.' These descend from John Grattan Guinness, the youngest son of First Arthur, and continue through the centuries in lives so turned to God and so given to adventures of faith that, as Frederic Mullally has written in his thrilling The Silver Salver: The Story of the Guinness Family, they make the other Guinness lines “seem almost pedestrian.” (pages 155-156) This is the line of Guinnesses that became missionaries and ministers. They preached alongside the likes of Moody and Spurgeon. They helped make missionary endeavors like those of Hudson Taylor possible. They established schools for missionaries. They disciple other individuals who went on to found orphanages and schools and become missionaries. Twentieth-Century Guinness: In this final chapter, Mansfield returns to the story of the brewery and the changes it underwent in the past century. While the Guinness brewery experienced unprecedented growth, it was not all good times. The biggest challenges it faced were the two world wars and prohibition. They managed to weather those storms and rise to dominance again. In 1954, they introduced what has become one of the best-selling book series of all time: The Guinness Book of Records. It was originally designed to contain the types of statistics that would come up for discussion at pubs and sports clubs. As the popularity of Guinness continued to grow, the leadership decided to diversify. They made the decision to go against a 250 history of intentionally only dealing in beer. They diversified into liquor and other alcoholic beverages. In 1987, for the first time, day-to-day operations of the Guinness breweries was not overseen by a member of the family. In 1997, Guinness merged with another company to form Diageo, the largest alcohol beverage company in the world. Mansfield does a good thing at the end of the book. He draws some lessons from the Guinness story that we can emulate today. These are true regardless of your stand on the use of beer. I will only list them; he goes into more depth in the book. These are some great lessons I may write some more about later. 1. Discern the ways of God for life and business. 2. Think in terms of generations yet to come. 3. Whatever else you do, do at least one thing very well. 4. Master the facts before you act. 5. Invest in those you would have invest in you. This was an interesting look at a well known company and the family behind it. Regardless of whether you agree with their line of work, it is worth examining a 250 year old institution to look for lessons to apply today. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy history, trivia, and the culture of Ireland and the UK. What are your thoughts?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mark Nenadov

    A pleasant and quick read about a prolific stout. It gives a sympethetic but realistic window into the faith, life, and business of the many generations of the legendary Guinness family. Connections to Hudson Taylor and John Wesley are revealed. A solid heritage of extraordinary benevolence and using a business to take care of one's employees and the broader community is revealed. Mansfield skilfully avoids getting bogged down in details and preserves a lively pace. It hits many of the notes a g A pleasant and quick read about a prolific stout. It gives a sympethetic but realistic window into the faith, life, and business of the many generations of the legendary Guinness family. Connections to Hudson Taylor and John Wesley are revealed. A solid heritage of extraordinary benevolence and using a business to take care of one's employees and the broader community is revealed. Mansfield skilfully avoids getting bogged down in details and preserves a lively pace. It hits many of the notes a good biography should hit. I was left with a great deal of respect for this family, brand, and the dark beer which made their name. Mansfield summarizes "The Guinness Way", as: 1. Discern the ways of God for life and business.. 2. Think in terms of generations yet to come. 3. Whatever else you do, do at least one thing very well. 4. Master the facts before you act. 5. Invest in those you would have invest in you.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Logan

    It had a very interesting history of the Guinness family in its early days and some good tidbits about brewing here and there but I found the seeming lack of objectivity or balance to be disappointing. By the author's own admission in the bibliography, the corporation has sued authors for libel and he was able to avoid that by focusing on the social good Guinness has done and the faith of some of the family members. Which is all fine and good but made some of the conclusions and descriptions que It had a very interesting history of the Guinness family in its early days and some good tidbits about brewing here and there but I found the seeming lack of objectivity or balance to be disappointing. By the author's own admission in the bibliography, the corporation has sued authors for libel and he was able to avoid that by focusing on the social good Guinness has done and the faith of some of the family members. Which is all fine and good but made some of the conclusions and descriptions questionable. Was Guinness really being benevolent or were they being shrewd when they gave beer to soldiers? Were they paid to do so by the US army or was it voluntary? Those details are lacking, leaving the reader with the intentional impression that this was purely a gift. Maybe it was but I find it hard to trust a book which leaves out details for the purpose of making things sound better than they are. Additionally, I have to say that the epilogue was hard to buy into. It consisted of five social morals we can learn from the Guinnesses. The only problem was that I didn't feel that any of them was well supported, being more drawn from anecdotes than tried and true ways to be well-loved and successful. It felt like this was the message the author wanted to push, rather than something to be learned from the Guinness story. Nevertheless, it gave me an appreciation for the family's and company's beginnings and I did enjoy reading it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    So it turns out that Guinness is a 260 year old cross between Chick-Fil-A and Google. I really liked this book, in six chapters it explores the history of beer, the brewery and it's employee benefits that rival modern tech companies, the Guinness family and their faith and benevolence, things that aren't widely known in the U.S. The acknowledgement section at the end also tipped me off to a few more books on Guinness history that I'll check out later.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    Such a good book. The story about the Guinness family is inspiring. Still have an itch to find out a little bit more about the beer. I will take the authors advice and check out "Guinness:The 250 Year Quest for the Perfect Pint".

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Kidd

    This was a perfect beach read for me - well-written and quickly paced. This is really two books. It is a good historic background on the Guinness family. But it uses that framework to be an excellent book on the Christian doctrine of vocation or calling.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steven Mandeville

    Not a "beer guy" but great read for the faith and management dynamics of the company. Easy interesting read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    A biography of Guinness the beer, and the family legacy. Non-fiction Loved it. Drink more Guinness, it's good for you.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joseph McBee

    An interesting book about my favorite beer and the family that made it. This book is more than just a history of the brew, it's also a testimony to how God uses business and works through industry to accomplish His will and to bless individuals, cities, and even the world down through the generations.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Will

    Quite an interesting and fascinating history of the Guinness family and beer. It is a wonderful look at how God used a company to do His work in the world.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Angelosanto

    I really enjoyed learning about the Guinness story, especially after visiting St James Gate last year. The intro by the author soured me on him and his opinions a little, but overall very interesting stuff. What I liked the most is hearing how the Guinness family cared about their workers and their community. Very timely to read during this pandemic 😬

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Lu

    Interesting book that starts about the history of beer and the story of Guinness, relating the great founders' legacy to that of compassion and care (originally very Christian principles, which the religious right no longer value). The ancient Sumerians viewed beer as divine - as one modern brewer says it's not about brewing, but setting the conditions for fermentation, which he sees as the process of god. Beer played heavily into early religious texts and even Christianity itself. Contrary to p Interesting book that starts about the history of beer and the story of Guinness, relating the great founders' legacy to that of compassion and care (originally very Christian principles, which the religious right no longer value). The ancient Sumerians viewed beer as divine - as one modern brewer says it's not about brewing, but setting the conditions for fermentation, which he sees as the process of god. Beer played heavily into early religious texts and even Christianity itself. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol was actually celebrated - it's excess intoxication that was the issue. Even Martin Luther was known to love beer -"Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?" 200 years ago, beer was originally even seen as a blessing since served as an alternative to hard liquor in promotion of moderation. Years ago, Dublin was formerly squalid and rife with poverty and disease in 1900. Overcrowded with insufficient infrastructure, 3-4 families in a single house. The Irish tradition of waking the dead meant that for 4 days after a family member died, would have ripe opportunity for transmission of disease and maggots. Chief medical officer of Guinness visited 1752 homes to find terrible conditions, literally shit piled up above the toilets. Recommended to the Board to expand tenement housing for employees and require 1 family per house, educational classes, etc. at a time when Guinness was already the best company to work for with highest wages. Still the board agreed to invest more in their people for better public health. Other companies at the time were also making strides to improve employee health - social capitalism at work, Dr. Lumdsen saw the need to preemptively compete and give a win win with more productive employees meaing more stability - "until our families are given the opportunity of being comfortably and decently housed, we cannot expect to do much in raising their social and moral standard. I therefore make so bold as to look forward to the day when a brewery model village is built on the lines of Cadbury's at Bournville [sic], and Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight, where our people can obtain a small one- or two-storied cottage at reasonable rent." George Cadbury, a Quaker, was a grocer who saw alcohol as evil, so created a drinking chocolate as alternative, and built Bournville as a model planned community. William Lever who created the first soap from vegetable instead of animal fat, built Port Sunlight as a profit sharing community where he reinvested profits of his company to the village. Seems like a bit of a fascist benevolent dictator - "it would not do you much good if you send it down your throats in the form of bottles of whiskey, bags of sweets, or fat geese at Christmas. On the other hand, if you leave the money with me, I shall use it to provide for you everything the makes life pleasant - nice houses, comfortable homes, and healthy recreation." Many in the family of Guinness (about 1 in 10) were evangelicals who became ministers. In 1951, on a hunting trip began a debate about what was the fastest game bird in England. This led to publish a promotional book for pubs to lend to conversation... Shortly thereafter, became a yearly best seller - the Guinness book of world records. Concluding quote from Edward Cecil - "you cannot make money from people unless you are willing for people to make money from you." "this is the truth as Edward Cecil proclaimed: we must invest in those who serve us if we expect them to serve well. It is one of the great pillars of the Guinness legacy and it is wisdom that we should reclaim, particularly in our modern world of tension and strife."

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jock Mcclees

    The beginning of the book talked about the history of beer to lead into the part about Guinness. I actually thought it was the best part of the book. Parts of the book about the Guinness' could be slow at times, but generally interesting. People drank beer because the water was so polluted that beer was much safer to drink. (So what did kids drink?) When the Pilgrims landed and started to build their settlement, they saw Indians in the woods watching them but never were able to talk to them. Then The beginning of the book talked about the history of beer to lead into the part about Guinness. I actually thought it was the best part of the book. Parts of the book about the Guinness' could be slow at times, but generally interesting. People drank beer because the water was so polluted that beer was much safer to drink. (So what did kids drink?) When the Pilgrims landed and started to build their settlement, they saw Indians in the woods watching them but never were able to talk to them. Then one day, one of them walked up and said in English, Welcome, do you have any beer? His name was Samoset and his companion was Squanto. It turns our Samoset had met other English traders and sailed with them along the coast and learned English and a taste for beer. In fact, beer caused them to select a spot. They had been sailing around for a month looking for a good spot and finally selected one when their beer was running low and they needed to brew more. The brewery was the first permanent structure built in Plymoth. When the Puritans sailed to create Boston in 1630 they started with 10,000 gallons of beer or more and once again, the brewhouse was one of the first buildings built. It is thought that when people in the Fertile Crescent first started harvesting grains and storing them in earthen jars. If it got wet and it started to sprout and they tried to dry it out, you now have malted barley and the bread made from it was sweeter. If it was stored again and got wet again, this is like wort and if natural yeast got it, it could have created a crude beer by accident. Some historians think that the discovery of beer led hunter gatherers to settle in one place. They feel beer was the impetus to start towns and led to cities and large civilizations. The ancient Sumerians and the Epic of Gilgamesh indicated not only that beer helped make civilization but drinking of beer was part of what made a civilized man. Beer was part of the mythology of the Egyptian gods. Apparently Osiris made it by accident by the method described above and liked it so much that he made it one of his blessings to mankind. There were gods for every stage of the brewing process. They also considered beer to be a medicine and that it was necessary to the health and well being of Egyptians. Early brewing wasn't sophisticated and they drank communally through reed straws from a large vat that had a thick layer of grain mash floating on top. Greeks got beer tech from Egyptians and was part of culture as much as wine. Herodotus wrote a detailed treatise on beer and Sophocles lectured on the value of daily beer as part of a healthy life. Beer passed from Greek to Roman. Pliny estimates over 200 types of beer brewed in the Empire in the first century. Romans felt beer gave strength and energy. Soldiers drank it before battle and athletes consumed it by the gallon. Latin word forvbeer is cerevisium, which means strength. The Early Christians considered drunkenness a sin but not consumption of alcohol. Irish made beer from barley even before the Roman empire. St. Patrick had a brewmaster, Mescan, always at his side and the beer offered often helped create a friendship with Irish chieftains which made it easier for Patrick to convert them. One of St. Patrick's miracles involved removing poison from ale. There are many patron saints of beer in the Catholic church. Saint Arnou's miracle was that when he died, as people took his body home to be buried, they stopped in a town and there was only one mug of beer to be had. But it always replenished and everyone had plenty to drink from the single mug. Charlemagne loved beer and elevated the position of brewers in the Holy Roman Empire. He also supported innovations in brewing science and formed kind of a think tank for advice on brewing. The church and monasteries became the primary brewer and wholesaler of beer. People found being on the good side of the church gave access to beer. Beer at religious functions was "church ale" and therefor at weddings there was "bride ale" which became bridal. Some children were baptized with beer instead of water. Wives had always brewed beer for home use. At the end of the 12th century, other brewers were emerging. Taverns and inns began in towns and along roads and often brewed beer. Some transformed into commercial breweries and some are still around. It wasn't the majority but not uncommon to have female brewers in Northern Europe. The Black Plague in the 1300s decreased the population and by 1400, the average worker made twice as much as 100 years earlier. This meant more disposable income and helped boost the beer trade. In lower England there were almost no drinking establishments in 1300 and by 1577 there were more than 17,000. That is 1 tavern a week created in that time period. In London there was one alehouse or tavern for every 21 people. In 1610, in Dublin there were 1,100 alehouses and 100 breweries and brewpubs and the city/town only had 4,000 families. They became worried about brewing quality standards. When English barons met King John at Runnymede to insist on the Magna Carta, one of the demands was for uniform brewing standards. Apparently beer was pretty lousy. They didn't know about yeast yet so fermentation was from airborne yeast and the process was often incomplete. Beer was flat and very low in alcohol. To make it taste better, brewers would add spices (Pumpkin anyone?) Germany created a beer purity law in 1516 which regulated brewing and German beer became the best in the world. But then the Reformation happened. It celebrated beer but closed the monasteries that made most of the beer. Luther wanted to reform the Catholic church not break it, plus he was a beer lover. The leaders of the Reformation considered wine, beer and food gifts from God and to be celebrated, just not to excess. John Calvin and Calvinism is considered to not like music and alcohol and to be very straight laced I believe. However, he wrote, "We are nowhere fobidden to laugh, or to be satisfied with food or to be delighted with music or the drink wine." "It is permissible to use wine not only for necessity but also to make us merry." Then he gets into the Guinness'. The first was Arthur. His father, Richard, had worked as a foreman on an estate and one responsibility was overseeing the beer brewing. Arthur helped with this and learned. The gentleman, on his death gave Arthur a sum of money in his will. Arthur went on to work in other places and continued to learn his trade. Eventually he decided to start his own brewery. The Guinness' were Protestant in a primarily Catholic country. At the time performing a trade well was considered a tribute to God, just a different way than if you were in the clergy. The Guinness' religious beliefs were strongly interwoven with the business and how they treated their business and their workers and dealt with others. The first Arthur had a number of children. The first decided to go a different direction and the second, also Arthur, known as Second Arthur, took over the company and helped grow it. In each generation, there were one or two who came through to grow and improve the company. There were some ups and downs. Prohibition in the US hurt the company and then the depression in the 30s. They always managed to hold on and survive and then ultimately grow. I had no idea but they became the largest brewery in the world. Finally, it had gotten large enough that at the end of the 1900s the top management did not include a Guinness for the first time. There was some diversification that didn't work and ultimately there was a merger in 1997 with Grand Metropolitan to form Diageo. There was a chapter about how the company took care of its workers. They worked to improve housing and health care and taught classes for workers and family members and a range of other services. They also paid above average wages. Also Cadbury and Lever Brothers were mentioned as being very forward thinking. It would be interesting to read more about them as well. The family broke into 3 lines from the original Arthur. One focused on the brewery, one that focused on finance and one that became ministers and were some of the better known orators and religious leaders of their times. All in all, the family left quite a legacy to themselves and to humanity.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dan Glover

    This is the biography of a beer. I've never read the life story of a beer before. I have, however, read several biographies of great people and have always come away with an even greater appreciation of and respect for them, having learned more about them and how they impacted the times in which they lived. Like any good biography, the story of Guinness has bolstered and deepened my admiration for the tall, dark and handsome stout. I appreciate and respect it more now knowing its humble beginnin This is the biography of a beer. I've never read the life story of a beer before. I have, however, read several biographies of great people and have always come away with an even greater appreciation of and respect for them, having learned more about them and how they impacted the times in which they lived. Like any good biography, the story of Guinness has bolstered and deepened my admiration for the tall, dark and handsome stout. I appreciate and respect it more now knowing its humble beginnings and the times, often harsh, in which both the beer and the family who brewed it lived and worked. Mansfield tells the story in a straightforward and sympathetic manner. There is little flourish and, truthfully, not a lot of literary artistry here. But this seems fitting somehow in light of the plain, direct and sympathetic people the Guinnesses were. Mansfield's telling has enough detail to satisfy a popular audience about the family that founded this global institution as well as about the dark nectar itself, all without getting bogged down in brewing minutiae or the generations old gossip and conjecture which often finds its way into books on the Guinness family, much to their (and sometimes their lawyer's) annoyance. The reader is familiarized with the three "streams" of the Guinness family, those who brewed, those who banked, and those who preached, all of whom, in their day, were known as much for their humanitarian and charity work as they were for their vocations. I appreciated the description of the author's own "beer pilgrimage," coming from a background that had largely viewed beer as a negative force in society to the realization that beer has played a very important and in some cases very central role in shaping many societies for the better, whether improving general health and nutrition, combating addiction to hard liquor or just being a central feature in social and celebratory gatherings, like good food, jolly music and a bright and toasty hearth. And I must say a hearty "amen" to one of the author's conclusions - we need to recover a generational approach to vocation and craftsmanship. Our culture suffers from a strong bias toward the instant and the cheap. Mansfield brings out the multi-generational nature of the Guinness brewing philosophy (and indeed worldview), where a craftsman would apprentice his sons in the family arts and secrets and those sons would grow up into the trade to one day raise up their own sons in the business and pass along the family craft with confidence and pride. There are some things in life, like eating fast food meat products, where knowing more about the back story won't necessarily improve the experience. I can honestly say that the pints of Guinness I've raised after reading this book have tasted just a little bit richer for having consumed this literary appetizer. I'd give the beer 7 stars and the book 3.5. Cheers.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Carter

    “It is testimony to the importance of beer in their story that the brewery was the first permanent building the Pilgrims constructed.” Looking at history through the role beer played reveals how important it was to many countries, including America. Beer was often the safe drink since it was boiled and water was easily contaminated. Beer was brought on ships that came to explore the New World. One of the longest brewed beers – Guinness – holds a very special role in the history of Ireland and the “It is testimony to the importance of beer in their story that the brewery was the first permanent building the Pilgrims constructed.” Looking at history through the role beer played reveals how important it was to many countries, including America. Beer was often the safe drink since it was boiled and water was easily contaminated. Beer was brought on ships that came to explore the New World. One of the longest brewed beers – Guinness – holds a very special role in the history of Ireland and the Guinness family impacted the world, not just with their beer, but also with the legacy established through helping others. The Search for God and Guinness explores the Guinness history and impact. I added The Search for God and Guinness to my to-read list when I saw it advertised around St. Patrick’s Day. I requested it from the library last month after seeing a friend had recently read the book. It was available as an e-book through Libby in just a week or two. It doesn’t take long to read and is just broken down into six chapters that cover different aspects of the Guinness company and family history. Stephen Mansfield sets up the book by first showing the role beer played in the 1600s and 1700s. I learned a lot in the beginning chapter, including that the early settlements in America put in a brewery very early on to create a safe drink for the settlers. The author then reveals what is documented about Arthur Guinness (the founder) and what is fable. (One fable is that Arthur Guinness prayed that God would show him a way to keep men from getting drunk on liquor and God gave him the idea of making a drink that was good for them.) As the company expands, so does the impact Guinness makes in the community. Guinness offered its workers access to doctors, classes, a library and a pension (even for widows). During World War I, those who served in the military were guaranteed their jobs back and their families were given half their salary while they were gone. They also built housing that still stands to this day. Many members of the family also went into ministry and were supported by the Guinness company funds. While many Guinness family members were Protestant, they fought for equal rights for Catholics in Ireland. I found The Search for God and Guinness to be very interesting and I learned some neat things about history that I didn’t know before I picked up this book. I would recommend it to history lovers, craft and home brewers and Guinness fans. It would make a great gift for anyone in those categories, too. Read more here: http://sarahannecarter.com/the-search...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adam R. Clarke

    A Review by Adam B.R. Clarke Note: Disclosure of Material Connection: This book was received free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. To be honest, when I saw The Search for God and Guinness on Thomas Nelson’s Book Sneeze program, I was a little skeptical. I had no idea the social impact that the Guinness family had on society, nor did I know the strong moral code their company would portray to, first, the people of Dublin and eventually, the A Review by Adam B.R. Clarke Note: Disclosure of Material Connection: This book was received free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. To be honest, when I saw The Search for God and Guinness on Thomas Nelson’s Book Sneeze program, I was a little skeptical. I had no idea the social impact that the Guinness family had on society, nor did I know the strong moral code their company would portray to, first, the people of Dublin and eventually, the world. I thought the title was very fitting for the book as it is a strong historical look at the family, the role God played in their lives, and Mansfield’s own search for answers. What I found unique about this historical look at Arthur Guinness and the Guinness family is the strong teaching of influence and good actions, along with a strong calling from God that goes beyond family: it impacts society as a whole. They knew they had the means to help Dublin, so they put their wealth to work by improving Dublin, its people, and its image. However, my favorite “sticking point” of the story is the role of apprenticeship. You see that through the Guinness’ line, great men didn’t just happen. They were given the support, trust, knowledge, and experience of the older generation, so that they could excel and continue the good work God had blessed them with. They exemplify what many fathers today are attempting to do - teach their children quality lessons. The only problem is many times fathers today forget the key component of time and energy. The Guinness men had plenty of patience to pass on these traits. I did find the book very difficult to focus on at times. It came across as a history text, more often than not. As one with a history major, I loved the historical lineage and facts about the Guinness clan, but if there is no historical interest in the reader’s hearth, this could be a tough book to make it through.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shorel

    My SB colleagues will perhaps cringe that I've read a book with this title. However, since the book didn't come with a complimentary pint, I shall be forgiven :) This is perhaps the best book on business done in and for God that I have read in awhile. The legacy of the Guinness Beer company, including its impact on employees and society is amazing. "The company did not drain a man and expect the church or the state to rebuilt him again. They invested. They paid high wages, offered every type of e My SB colleagues will perhaps cringe that I've read a book with this title. However, since the book didn't come with a complimentary pint, I shall be forgiven :) This is perhaps the best book on business done in and for God that I have read in awhile. The legacy of the Guinness Beer company, including its impact on employees and society is amazing. "The company did not drain a man and expect the church or the state to rebuilt him again. They invested. They paid high wages, offered every type of education, provided medicine, sports, entertainment, and even a place to think, and assured every kind of financial safety net for those who served them well. They also built houses, sent sons to college, and lifted whole families to new economic heights. They did this because it was the right thing to do..." (p.260) All this hundreds of years before before Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resources. The way they ran their business may have been ahead of its time, however the principles upon which they ran the business were not: they can from the deep-rooted faith of the Guinness family in God. They were principles of the Bible. (Do a reread of Proverbs 31 sometime and the business established there.) Henry Grattan Guinness's favorite saying was "Gentlemen, find out the will of God for your day and generation, and then, as quickly as possible, get into line." Business wasn't separated from spirituality. God was integral in the Guinness business. Other takeaways: - Think in terms of generations to come. - Whatever else you do, do at least one thing well. - Master the facts before you act. - Invest in those you would have invest in you. As I work on starting by own business, establishing the business DNA in principles of stewardship and discipleship, I find the Guinness company to be a fine example.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brian Cain

    Great book about great people This book does a fantastic job of detailing the journey of the Guinness family and their impact in Ireland. Well written and thoroughly researched. Top notch read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jouni Koskinen

    This is not a book about the beer. This is a clumsy hagiographic fairy tale of a very rich and very christian family who were really good people because jesus and free enterprise. There's a long bit about improving bad worker conditions in early 1900's. This apparently happened because of good christian morals of the company. The reason why the conditions were bad in the first place obviously wasn't the fault of the same damn people with the same damn morals. The lesson is that rich people are go This is not a book about the beer. This is a clumsy hagiographic fairy tale of a very rich and very christian family who were really good people because jesus and free enterprise. There's a long bit about improving bad worker conditions in early 1900's. This apparently happened because of good christian morals of the company. The reason why the conditions were bad in the first place obviously wasn't the fault of the same damn people with the same damn morals. The lesson is that rich people are good for the poor if they are christian (and if you cherry pick an event and separate it from any other motives other than "good morals"). Then there's a long bit about a Guinness family member who became a known preacher and had absolutely nothing to do with the beer. The beer that the book claims to be a biography of. Then there's very bare bones summary of other developments of the company, that you can learn by visiting the Storehouse in Dublin. It jumps around and skips big parts. The last 50 years are more or less skipped completely. Don't waste your money.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Darren Anderson

    Excellent book. Easy to read. It's sad that our recent Christian ancestors chose to live without the joys of beer... especially Guinness! All due to a twisted theology. We Christians need to return to a truly biblical understanding of the role of alcohol in our lives and see it as the gift it is. I think this is starting to happen. I love the spirit of charity and consideration for workers that Mansfield emphasizes in this book. Certainly ahead of the times in many ways. The Guinness line, the b Excellent book. Easy to read. It's sad that our recent Christian ancestors chose to live without the joys of beer... especially Guinness! All due to a twisted theology. We Christians need to return to a truly biblical understanding of the role of alcohol in our lives and see it as the gift it is. I think this is starting to happen. I love the spirit of charity and consideration for workers that Mansfield emphasizes in this book. Certainly ahead of the times in many ways. The Guinness line, the brewers and the preachers, was truly blessed and is a fascinating bunch. I had never heard of Henry Grattan, and found that sections immensely enjoyable. I was pleased to see a reference to Ken Gentry's book in the bibliography. That tells me the author has the correct view on alcohol.

  30. 4 out of 5

    PJ Wenzel

    One of the best books of the year This is the type of book that when it ends, you don't want it to. There is so much wisdom in these pages, that you want it to go on and on. The story is fascinating, the people are interesting, the lessons learned are invaluable. This is the kind of book that needs to be read, digested, and reread. I'm surprised not having heard much about this in recent years, because it ought to be a modern classic - in the biography section at least. There are business lessons One of the best books of the year This is the type of book that when it ends, you don't want it to. There is so much wisdom in these pages, that you want it to go on and on. The story is fascinating, the people are interesting, the lessons learned are invaluable. This is the kind of book that needs to be read, digested, and reread. I'm surprised not having heard much about this in recent years, because it ought to be a modern classic - in the biography section at least. There are business lessons, moral lesson, encouragement, fascinating people, and insights into marketing and innovation that transcend the merely tactical, and get into their driving forces. Highly enjoyed this and highly recommend.

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