Drinking Up the Revolution: How to Smash Big Alcohol and Reclaim Working-Class Joy (Paperback)
James Wilt exposes the links between the global alcohol industry and capitalism.
In Drinking Up the Revolution, James Wilt shows us why alcohol policy should be at the heart of any socialist movement.
Many people are drinking more now than ever before, as already massive multinationals are consolidating and new online delivery services are booming in an increasingly deregulated market. At the same time, public health experts are sounding the alarm about the catastrophic health and social impacts of rising alcohol use, with over three million people dying ever year due to alcohol-related harms.
Exposing the links between the alcohol industry and capitalism, colonialism and environmental destruction, Wilt demonstrates the failure of both prohibition and deregulation, and instead focuses on those who profit from alcohol’s sale and downplay its impacts: producers, retailers, and governments.
Rejecting both the alcohol industry’s moralizing against individual “problem drinkers” and the sober politics of “straight-edge” and wellness lifestyle trends, Drinking Up the Revolution is not another call for prohibition or more governmental control, but is instead a cry to take back alcohol for the people, and make it safe and enjoyable for all those who want to use it.
About the Author
James Wilt (he/him) is a freelance journalist, PhD student, and the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Cars? Public Transit in the Age of Google, Uber, and Elon Musk (Between the Lines Books, 2020). His writing has appeared in many publications including The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Vice, Canadian Dimension, Briarpatch, The Narwhal, Passage, National Observer, CBC Calgary, Alberta Oil, Ricochet, and Rabble.
"Drinking Up the Revolution offers both an incisive expose of the extensive harm perpetrated by a cynical globalised alcohol industry in its naked pursuit of profit, and a lower-risk, alternative way for the world to enjoy alcohol – or not." - Maurice Smithers, Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance in South Africa
"Drinking Up the Revolution is not only persuasive in its calls for an end to the oligopoly of Big Alcohol, its manifesto envisions a set of compelling alternatives that could very well help break up alcohol’s near-monopoly on culturally-sanctioned means of celebration and connection.” - Rick Harp, host/producer, Media Indigena
"You might feel a general anxiety about society’s worsening relationship with alcohol, and Drinking Up the Revolution explains why." - Josiah Hughes, host of 155 and Globe Hell Warning podcasts
"James Wilt fills a much needed gap in left thinking about alcohol. With care, passion, and rigour Wilt is able to not only map out the capitalist problems of big alcohol plaguing society but also present promising solutions, and an abolitionist hope of dreaming bigger." - Nashwa Lina Khan, organizer and host of Habibti Please
"A fascinating and informative read." - Olivier van Beemen, author of Heineken in Africa: A Multinational Unleashed
“This is the most ambitious, provocative, groundbreaking critique of the modern beverage-alcohol industry I’ve ever read. regardless of your politics, if you’re AT ALL interested in the business of booze, you owe it to yourself to read James Wilt’s latest.” — Dave Infante, Vine Pair.