- Constructive Drinking: Perspectives on Drink from Anthropology edited by Mary Douglas
Cambridge, 291 pp, £25.00, September 1987, ISBN 0 521 33504 3
- For Prayer and Profit: The Ritual, Economic and Social Importance of Beer in Gwembe District, Zambia, 1950-1982 by Elizabeth Colson and Thayer Scudder
Stanford, 147 pp, $32.50, August 1988, ISBN 0 8047 1444 4
In Angola, where the local currency is all but worthless, people use cans of imported beer as a means of exchange: a very heavy sort of money, but at least you can buy bananas and fish with it. In Zambia, some people pour a little beer onto the ground in the doorways of their huts to placate the ancestors. The supplicant says: ‘Be cool, as water is cool. Do not trouble the children. Let us all prosper. Here is your beer.’
The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.