"Lavishly illustrated with full-colour photographs on almost every page".
Times Literary Supplement, October 2015.
"Ian Miller’s volume on water offers a different sort of history. He explores the role of an easily defined substance – “a tasteless mixture of oxygen and hydrogen atoms that are chemically bonded together” – across the millennia, from the Incas and ancient Egyptians to the present day".
Popmatters, December 2015.
There is much here that is interesting, even amusing. I never knew that there was a Dr Schweppe who founded a mineral water company. Nor did I know the adage that ‘in wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria’, here attributed to David Auerbach: but I am glad that I do now. I can sign up to that. It had never occurred to me to spell Evian backwards. And that is characteristic of the book: a sharp eye for the telling anecdote.
Richard Hoyle, Agricultural History Review, January 2016
Essential to human life, our bodies are brimming with water. Although it covers approximately seventy per cent of the world's surface, acquiring suitable drinking water has proved to be a perpetual challenge for humans. Water: A Global History tells the story of how our relationship with the necessary elixir has developed and changed over time. Dating back to our very beginning, water has offered a variety of uses and problems. It wasn't until the nineteenth century that scientists alarmingly discovered that water supplies can contain thousands of deadly germs, and there is still a modern issue of supplying accessible water to non-western countries. However, water also has distinct medicinal proprieties, and people have looked to it for more than just drink since ancient times. Ranging from tea to alcohol, humans have worked hard to create more palatable versions of the drink, but the past two hundred years have turned drinking water into a majorly commercialised, profitable product. Water: A Global History explores the natural history of water, but also the changing cultural perceptions and adaptations of it that have occurred across millennia. Filled with beautiful illustrations and modern water recipes, this book provides a fully global view of drinking water and the issues and delights it provides for us.