Drinking, like existence, is an endless muddle, one of the slipperiest boulders in life’s daunting stream - we cling to it for support but end up even wetter than when we started. It’s destroys individuals and rescues large gatherings. It can tear apart loved ones but bring strangers closer together. It starts fights and ends wars. One drinks a right and proper amount; everyone else drinks either too much or not enough. One’s own drinking preferences exhibit refinement and sophistication; everyone else’s are suspect, as are everyone else’s snobberies, recipes, rules, brands and styles. Alcohol starts endless debates and endless debates, are best settled over a drink.
Such a state of affairs cruise out for clarity, And Bernard DeVoto’s splendid book The Hour provides it straight up.
- From the Introduction by Daniel Handler