This is the book that started our journey down the caffeine trail. Bennett was running a pharmaceutical consulting business, working as a writer for Fortune 500 companies, and Bonnie worked with him. One day Bonnie asked Bennett a question about caffeine that he couldn’t answer. Bennett advised her to check out the local Barnes & Noble and grab a book on caffeine. Bonnie returned, revealing that there were books for children, there were stupid books that said don’t use any caffeine or it will kill you, and there were books for pharmacologists too technical even for doctors to read. She thought she and Bennett should fill the void and write the first serious book on caffeine which would tell the intelligent lay reader the truth about the drug. Bennett wasn’t too enthusiastic, but he decided to try it. The rest is history. The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug was born. It was highly praised by the most presitgious periodical reviewers in the English speaking world (see Review Highlights below) and translated and published in Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.
Simon & Schuster then asked us to follow up with a book that left out the culture and history and focused on teaching people how to use caffeine to achieve the maximum benefits for the mind and body. In response, we published The Caffeine Advantage: How to Sharpen Your Mind, Improve your Physical Performance, and Achieve Your Goals–the Healthy Way, which, like our first book, has been praised by reviewers and scientists everywhere. Interestingly, it has been translated into and published in Korean and Indonesian.
Malcolm Gladwell’s review of The World of Caffeine which appeared in The New Yorker.
High praise from NewScientist for The World of Caffeine.
Another send up, from Kirkus Reviews.
A FEW PROGRAMS INTERVIEWING US:
WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show: “Please Explain: Caffeine”
“Please Explain: Caffeine” answers all of our caffeine-related questions, from whether or not we should drink coffee before we run a marathon to how caffeine differs from other stimulants. Bennett Alan Weinberg, co-author of the book The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug, explains how the world’s most popular drug affects us.
NPR’s Weekend Edition: “Caffeine – The Lure of the Bean”
Listen as Scott Simon talks to Bennett Alan Weinberg.
Minnesota Public Radio: “The Daily Circuit” with Tom Webber. Interview with Bennett Alan Weinberg, coauthor with Bonnie K. Bealer of the book The World of Caffeine, about, “What You Should Know about Caffeine.”
Minnesota Public Radio: “Midmorning” with Kerri Miller.
Guests: Roland Griffiths: Professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Over the past two decades, he has published nearly 45 scientific papers on caffeine. Bennett Alan Weinberg: Coauthor with Bonnie Bealer of the book The World of Caffeine
Wisconsin Public Radio: To the Best of Our Knowledge “Caffeine” – Bennett Alan Weinberg is the co-author (with Bonnie Bealer) of The World of Caffeine: the Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug. He talks with Anne Strainchamps about how little we actually know about this vegetable alkaloid.
Talking History: “The History of Caffeine“. Eileen Dugan discusses the history of caffeine with her guest, Bennett Alan Weinberg.
|Highlights from reviews of The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug, by Bennett Alan Weinberg and Bonnie K. Bealer (Routledge, 2001)|
- Nominated for the 2002 James Beard Foundation Award
- Winner of the 2001 André Simon Memorial Highly Commended Prize
- Cited as an authority by The National Geographic and The Columbia Encyclopedia
- Translated into and published in Italian, Spanish, and Japanese
Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker (July 30, 2001):
“A marvelous new book….The modern personality is, in a sense, a synthetic creation: skillfully regulated and medicated and dosed with caffeine so that we can always be awake and alert and focused when we need to be.…Many fascinating café yarns….Give a man enough coffee and he’s capable of anything.”
Washington Post (February 18, 2001):
“A flavor reminiscent of Daniel Boorstin’s The Discoverers…the book’s engaging, easy style allows readers to zip through it like a jolt of good java, or savor it slowly like a good cup of tea.”
Hugh Kenner in the Wall Street Journal (January 30, 2001):
“A magnificently researched book filled with revelations….”
Dr. Peter B. Dews in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 19, 2001):
“The scholarship is impressive….The text is rich with information, yet it is easy and pleasant to read.”
Kirkus Reviews (October 15, 2000):
“An amazing book…filled to the brim with a challenging mix of history, science, medicine, anthropology, sociology, and popular culture, then add a dash of humor, a pinch of polemic, and a dollop of healthful skepticism….Briskly written, full-bodied, and flavorful. ”
Times Literary Supplement (April 6, 2001):
“Encylopaediac…a thorough study, and a careful one…daunting enthusiasm…a wealth of interesting data.”
Wired Magazine (March, 2001):
“With chapters devoted to the history, science, and cultural significance of coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks, The World of Caffeine reveals a great deal of surprising information about the chemical that we all take for granted.”
Food and Wine (February, 2001):
“An eye-opening explanation of the history and culture of coffee.”
New Scientist (June 30, 2001):
“Caffeine shows no signs of surrendering its sovereign position in the hierarchy of humanity’s drugs of choice and I know of no other book that better explains how and why it got there….[Historical] stories have rarely been told with such skill…meticulous in describing the scientific and medical background.”
Financial Times (London) December 11, 2001
“An exhaustive but enthralling investigation of caffeine in all its forms, from its origins in Ethiopia to today’s ubiquitous coffee bar.”
Boston Herald Editor’s Choice (December 29, 2000):
“This book holds everything we ever wanted to know…about the drug that helps many of us keep up with the fast pace of our lives.”
London Guardian (February 10, 2001):
“Here at last is a lavishly produced history of the world’s favourite mood enhancer, from Mayan chocolate to the Japanese tea ceremony.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer (January 14, 2001):
“With impressive felicity, Weinberg and Bealer marshal the forces of history, chemistry, medicine, cultural anthropology, psychology, philosophy and even a little religion to tell caffeine’s complicated story….Fascinating, generously illustrated volume.”
Dr. Roland R. Griffiths, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine:
“Well-researched and entertaining…contains a wealth of fascinating cultural anecdotes, historical information, and scientific facts which provide a unique perspective on the world’s most commonly used mood-altering drug.”