Potent Brews: A Social History of Alcohol in East Africa, 1850-1999

In this first general history of alcohol and drinking in East Africa, Justin Willis's central theme is power-from customary beliefs in alcohol as a symbol of authority and a means of enhancement and privilege, to the use of power in advertising, and discourse on the consumption of modern bottled beers and spirits. Potent Brews covers a span of nearly two centuries with emphasis on the late-colonial and post-colonial years, thus highlighting continuities that East African historians have tended to overlook. Oral materials from three case study areas in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania are interwoven with archival and newspaper sources, each reinforcing and elaborating the other.