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VODKA-A HISTORICAL THRILLER… only kindle edition (english version)

The reason for an author to write a book is, most of the time, a mystery. This is what happened in this case, too, even if the author can invoke some reasons, or at least two or three excuses. The topic itself isn’t refined, eminent or noble, qualities that motivate the author to put time and energy in writing about a drink that can’t even be compared to the cognac’s elegance, wine’s universality or rum’s exoticism. Vodka is an alcoholic liquid that has neither taste nor smell, almost without identity, interesting only because of its dark side. From another point of view, the author isn’t even Russian or Polish, arguing the writing of this book with patriotism and the support, more or less, of the idea that vodka is a national invention or even a cultural object. In this context, I have to admit that the idea of writing this vodka history had become latent, but the spark that triggered the writing process was the case of the Russian historical writer William Pokhlebkin, the strange culinary recipes collector, the author of a wonderful book called Istoriyavodky. Its publishing turned him from a Soviet regime dissident into a national hero, who has successfully defended vodka’s Russian paternity in a famous international law case against Poland, having lots of political and economic benefits, in 1982. His violent death (in 2000, he was killed in his apartment placed at Moscow’s outskirts), related to vodka’s law suit, remained a mystery to this day. I had a very powerful start writing this book dedicated to vodka’s history because it is, as the title says, a historical thriller. Starting from an ancient autocrat’s desire to drink alcohol that was more concentrated than wine, from alchemists’ tribulations and even from the mysterious Greek fire, I got to the monk Isidor, considered to be vodka’s father, aqua vitae’s adaptation to the Russian production conditions. As you would expect, the Czarist Russian period is very important and is, maybe, the most interesting part of the book, because of the bond between the Empire’s destiny and vodka, the drink becoming a weapon that has even killed those who thought they mastered it. Actually, we tried to prove that vodka can be read, too, not only drunk.

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