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While it is impossible to truly separate the reviewer from the review, I believe that a book review should be focused on the book rather than the reviewer That being said, I think a little context is in order I do not drink beer or other alcoholic beverages I do not promote the use of beer or other alcoholic beverages I pastor a church whose official position is to not partake in any alcoholic beverages The book I am about to review is about beer and the family that made this brand of beer The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield 2009, Thomas Nelson is the story of beer, of Guinness beer, and of the Guinness family Let there be no question, Arthur Guinness was a committed, Protestant, evangelical Christian His life and family legacy certainly bear that out For those of you who, like me, do not drink nor promote alcohol to others, I think the end of the review will be interesting to you.While beer predates the founding of the Guinness brewery in Dublin, Ireland, by Arthur Guinness in 1759, Mansfield makes the case that Guinness was one of the first breweries to make a quality, consistent beer.The Search for God and Guinness is about 260 pages and only 6 chapters The sheer length of some of the chapters made it a little difficult to read, as I tend to read in short bursts as I have the time Mansfield would have done better to have labeled these chapters as sections with shorter chapters within them The chapters would have made really good sections They are Before There Was Guinness This is basically the history of beer Mansfield goes back as far as the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and other ancient cultures He estimates that, largely through a series of accidents, these people learned how to use barley to bake bread and that likely led to a discovery of how to make beer The author then spends considerable time describing the role beer has played in various cultures throughout history, including the history and culture of the Christian church The Rise of Arthur Young Arthur Guinness learned to brew beer from his father who served on the estate of Dr Arthur Price, the Archbishop of Cashel After the death of Dr Price, Arthur was left the generous inheritance of 100 Arthur Guinness used this sum to invest in his own education and experience in the trade of brewing Then, in 1759, Arthur Guinness founded the Guinness brewery in Dublin by signing a lease for the famous property at St James s Gate a lease that gave him rights to that property for nine thousand years And this is where the dynasty began He married, had children, and operated a successful business At the Same Place By Their Ancestors In this third chapter, Mansfield tells the history of the Guinness brewery and the branch of the family that led it These were talented businessmen who were gifted in their field They made the brewing of beer ascientific process This allowed aconsistent product and made it possible to export the beer to many markets In all honesty, this was the least interesting portion of the book It has value, but you do not really see it until the end of the book The Good That Wealth Can Do Because of the corporate and personal successes of the Guinnesses, there was a decision constantly before them Is our wealth for our own benefit of for us to benefit others Really, this is a question that all believers face Does God gift and bless us for us or for others In both cases, the answer clearly is that it is for others The Guinness family built a corporate culture of generosity to their employees, their community, and their country Some examples of this are A Guinness worker during the 1920 s enjoyed full medical and dental care, massage services, reading rooms, subsidized meals, a company funded pension, subsidies for funeral expenses, educational benefits, sports facilities, free concerts, lectures and entertainment, and a guaranteed two pints of Guinness beer a day page xxviii During World War I, Guinness guaranteed all of its employees who served in uniform that their jobs would be waiting for them when they came home Guinness also paid half salaries to the family of each man who served page xxviii A Guinness chief medical officer, Dr John Lumsden, personally visited thousands of Dublin homes in 1900 and used what he learned to help the company fight disease, squalor, and ignorance These efforts also let to the establishment of the Irish version of the Red Cross, for which Dr Lumsden was knighted by King George V page xxviii These were all things the company and the Guinness family chose to do None of this was mandated from the outside by government, unions, or any other organization This is also the first chapter in the second half of the book I found the second half to be muchinteresting The Guinnesses For God I mentioned earlier that Arthur Guinness was a committed Christian This was true of many of his descendants as well Historians of the Guinness saga tend to divide the family into three lines There are the brewing Guinnesses, of course, who are the best known due to their connection to the wildly popular global brand There are also the banking Guinnesses, who descend from Samuel Guinness, broght of the first Arthur, and have grown an empire that began with gold beating in the 1700s and continues in global high finance today Then there is the line that Guinness historians tend to call the Guinnesses for God These descend from John Grattan Guinness, the youngest son of First Arthur, and continue through the centuries in lives so turned to God and so given to adventures of faith that, as Frederic Mullally has written in his thrilling The Silver Salver The Story of the Guinness Family, they make the other Guinness lines seem almost pedestrian pages 155 156 This is the line of Guinnesses that became missionaries and ministers They preached alongside the likes of Moody and Spurgeon They helped make missionary endeavors like those of Hudson Taylor possible They established schools for missionaries They disciple other individuals who went on to found orphanages and schools and become missionaries Twentieth Century Guinness In this final chapter, Mansfield returns to the story of the brewery and the changes it underwent in the past century While the Guinness brewery experienced unprecedented growth, it was not all good times The biggest challenges it faced were the two world wars and prohibition They managed to weather those storms and rise to dominance again In 1954, they introduced what has become one of the best selling book series of all time The Guinness Book of Records It was originally designed to contain the types of statistics that would come up for discussion at pubs and sports clubs As the popularity of Guinness continued to grow, the leadership decided to diversify They made the decision to go against a 250 history of intentionally only dealing in beer They diversified into liquor and other alcoholic beverages In 1987, for the first time, day to day operations of the Guinness breweries was not overseen by a member of the family In 1997, Guinness merged with another company to form Diageo, the largest alcohol beverage company in the world.Mansfield does a good thing at the end of the book He draws some lessons from the Guinness story that we can emulate today These are true regardless of your stand on the use of beer I will only list them he goes intodepth in the book These are some great lessons I may write someabout later.1 Discern the ways of God for life and business.2 Think in terms of generations yet to come.3 Whatever else you do, do at least one thing very well.4 Master the facts before you act.5 Invest in those you would have invest in you.This was an interesting look at a well known company and the family behind it Regardless of whether you agree with their line of work, it is worth examining a 250 year old institution to look for lessons to apply today.I would recommend this book to those who enjoy history, trivia, and the culture of Ireland and the UK What are your thoughts Meh Neo con claptrap disguised as cut rate history The title makes you think the book will be a lot cooler than it actually is Move on nothing to see here. Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy This book is, as its subtitle proclaims, a biography of a beer But, it is obviouslythan that In short, it is the biography of a family and a company whose history is seasoned with devotion to Jesus Christ and to the conviction that faith can be lived out beyond the walls of a church In this interesting and readable journey through 250 years of history, Mansfield writes an engaging chronicle of how this family s faith shaped the ethos of a company and led it to be a leader both in the quality of the product it produced and in the way it formed a corporate culture I can t say I d ever thought of beer as a particularly healthy drink probably due to a lot of baggage that often comes with the beverage in its American context , but its value as a safe and wholesome alternative to either unsafe water or to harder liquor in the early years of the company was part of the motivation behind its beginnings.I was fascinated by the way this company continually chose to be a leader in the way it treated its workers, from the way company doctors aggressively sought to improve the living conditions of turn of the twentieth century workers, to the preservation of jobs for people in military service during the second world war, to the high wages it paid I was also intrigued by the pattern of heirs apparent sidestepping their path to the company for full time Christian ministry.In all, this was both an entertaining and informative study on how one family and company have lived out their faith It certainly gives food for thought on how our corporate culture today often falls short, and it also proves a great extended illustration of Luther s emphasis that vocation goes far beyond ordained ministry. Wow, I flew through this book I thought it was so interesting and engaging It just provides some high level details on the lives of different Guinness family members and their works, but I think that s part of what kept me moving along so quickly It didn t get lost in the details Some of my favorite things I learned The same strain of yeast used in the original Guinness beer is still used today 300 years later Guinness was passed down from father to son for 250 years Guinness ran some really genius marketing campaigns A large portion of the Guinness family went on to become pastors, theologians and preachers Guinness was at the forefront of employee wellness thinking Guinness the beer company created the book of world records as a marketing gimmick which took off to have a life of its ownAll in all, a fun little book I d recommend to any of my friends who have a passing interest in the topic. I read The Search for God and Guinness because of its claim to present an argument towards the compatibility of drinking beer and a Christian life In a pros and cons, historical facts, and precedence sort of way I wanted to read a book that argued for the compatibility of alcohol in a Christian s daily life I was let down It started off strong in this vein though In fact, I should have just stopped reading after the Introduction because Mansfield does a great job of presenting the historical precedence of alcohol in Christian s lives and pointing out how it is only recently 1900s that alcohol beer was seen as such an abhorrent thing I enjoyed the Introduction and felt for his arguments.However, once the real book began, it veered away from this path It became a strict history of the Guinness family and the Guinness brand I even felt that his early grand claims of how generous Guinness was to its workers was little explored in later chapters However, this feeling of little exploration might be explained by the poor writing of the book The same idea or fact was repeated over and over just in different words Each new piece of information was presented as the best thing ever, or a person doing the greatest thing ever, or a company being the best ever It became a case of crying wolf too many times Mansfield chose to use such superlative language for everything that I became desensitized and lost track of what was actually an impressive achievement and what was just normal and expected accomplishments There were even historic inaccuracies such stating that someone served in the Boer War at the end of the twentieth century when the Boer War was fought from 1899 1902 which would place it at the end of the nineteenth century or beginning of the twentieth century This brings me to my final complaint of the book It read like a high schooler s research paper The research seemed to be mostly from secondary sources He quoted and took from many other biographies and accounts of the Guinness family and Guinness brand There was very little primary material in his book This brings up the harsh question of why write this book then The material has already been covered many times over by other authors I can see that Mansfield did take a different slant than other authors by emphasizing the godly aspect of the Guinness family And to give him credit, he did emphasize this However, I feel the emphasis was in a way to simply present the Christian ness of the Guinness s lives and leave out the other information Thus, it was the godliness was emphasized because of there was little else to be emphasized.I enjoyed these thoughts from the book Rather than emphasize beer as an antidote to drunkenness, as a healthy alternative to harder drinks that, in excess ruined men s lives, Prohibitionists treated all alcohol as the same Whatever else you do, do at least one thing very well We followed our traditional policy of considering long and acting quickly. Summary A history of beer, of the Guinness family and the history of Guinness from its beginnings, and the faith that that motivated the social goods pursued by many of the family members who led the company, and others in the family line.Unlike the author, who came from a family of teetotalers, I came from a family that enjoyed a good beer in moderation Most of the beers I grew up with were American beers and often my response to them was meh It wasn t until recent years that I discovered Guinness, and concluded, that this is what I ve always thought beer should taste like.So my curiosity was piqued when I came across this book in a second hand store I happen to love God and like Guinness and so I wanted to see how these two went together Along the way, Stephen Mansfield took me on a delightful journey on the history of beer, including the long line of saints who enjoyed a good brew including the Pilgrims, Saints Patrick, Bartholomew, Brigid, and Columbanus, Charlemagne, Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Wesley He traces the origins of beer, the science of brewing, and the different types of beer A fascinating side note of this history is how beer provided a muchtemperate alternative to the gin palaces and other forms of hard liquor that spelled the ruin of many.Mansfield traces the beginning of the Guinness brewery with Arthur Guinness s purchase in 1759 of a derelict brewery at St James Gate, Dublin, including his bold move to increase the size of pipes carrying water from the River Liffey to his brewery and defend it by force of arms Guinness had learned the art of brewing from his father, brewing small amounts for an inn, and starting a small brewing operation before taking over the derelict brewery in Dublin Influenced by George Whitfield, he used profits from his growing brewery to fund the growing Sunday School movement.From these promising beginnings, Mansfield traces the growth of the Guinness brewery through the generations, and the good family leadership it enjoyed in each generation There was the key decision to focus on stout and improvements in the scientific brewing of that stout, the transport and storage of the product that provided consistent high quality wherever it was served in the world, and in the twentieth century, the advertising campaigns that made the brand everpopular Among those working on these campaigns was Dorothy L Sayers.Most striking in this narrative is the care the company showed toward its workers, providing medical care for employees, families and even widows, housing, and superior wages as well as a couple free pints a day of stout During wars they guaranteed the jobs of servicemen, and paid families half salaries while their men were in service In many respects, including employee education programs, their policies exceeded today s most progressive companies.The other intriguing aspect of this book is that while many of the leaders of the brewery were Christians who employed their wealth and position not only to benefit their workers but wider Dublin society, there was also a branch of the family, the Grattan Guinnesses marked for their pursuit of ministry and world missions activity Mansfield gives us a thumbnail biography of Henry Grattan Guinness, an evangelist who was easily the equal of D L Moody Mansfield notes that the definitive biography of this man remains to be written.Inrecent years, the company diversified and passed from Guinness family leadership and experienced some scandals Mansfield doesn t focus much attention on this and handles lightly any problems in the history of the family He does imply that the long focus on brewing stout was a strength of the company that was lost as they diversified The emphasis throughout is on the growth of the company, and the positive contributions made by this family, and the influence their faith played in the good works accomplished through their wealth and influence So I would treat this account as entertaining and informative but not definitive history.The book concludes with an epilogue that summarizes the Guinness Way in five principles 1 Discern the ways of God for life and business.2 Think in terms of generations yet to come.3 Whatever else you do, do at least one thing very well.4 Master the facts before you act.5 Invest in those you would have invest in you.This suggests another value of this book, as an example of a business that does well by doing good along several key dimensions from its spiritual compass, to thinking beyond the next quarter, to having a laser focus, quality strategic planning, and respecting the dignity of workers, investors, and customers While technologies and markets change, it might well be argued that these basics do not, but may becrucial than ever. I needed a light and interesting read and this fit the bill The story of beer and one family s influence that is far reaching because of the founding faith of Arthur Guinness They were mindful that they could make the working man s life better by paying living wages and offering affordable housing and classes to improve everyday living If only business of today could operate this way At the core, the family held a belief that work was good and sacred Service to God and man was not limited to the church, although many from the family did pursue ministry, including one of my favorite authors and apologists of the Christian faith, Os Guinness, who is the great great great grandson of Arthur Guinness Talk about generational blessing Cheers Let s have a beer The company did not drain a man and expect the church or the state to rebuilt him again They invested They paid high wages, offered every type of education, provided medicine, sports, entertainment, and even a place to think, and assured every kind of financial safety net for those who served them well They also built houses, sent sons to college, and lifted whole families to new economic heights They did this because it was the right thing to do p.260 Stephen Mansfield in The Search for God and Guinness combines two topics that many may find opposed, beer and God Mansfield provides an overview of the long holy history of beer and its importance from ancient to early modern society He overturns the myth of the establishment of the Guinness brewery as a God ordained antidote to the social ills of 18th century Ireland, but instead shows the determination of one religious man in Arthur Guinness establishment of the St James Gate brewery in 1759 Mansfield provides a history of the first Arthur s decedents in three branches the brewers, the bankers and the Guinness s for God focusing primarily on the brewers and those who made ministry their vocation The Guinness family history ends with the end of a Guinness directly running the brewery and movement from a family brewery to a major corporation The history of the Guinness s for God should be especially heartwarming to Christians Butexciting is the history of the brewers The Guinness Brewery is a story of a culture of generosity It is a tale of care towards brewery staff who were better paid, better educated, better housed and generally lived better lives than their neighbors due to the loving spirit of the Guinness family The positive effects of the brewery spilled into the streets of Dublin in the early 20th century to inspire social improvement and social justice Mansfield is a historian who is able to successfully combine the historian s craft with a heart for God He tells a story that both challenges his and our views towards beer and shows what a legacy of love can do to impact the lives of others His story is one that will make me less judgmental towards those sporting Guinness gear and one that makes we want to share the meaning of a powerful organization. One and a half stars I d never heard of this author before I purchased the book based solely upon its title, which is something that I rarely do As a huge fan of both God and Guinness, I thought I was in the target demographic Within a few pages, however, something began to smell funny.A quick Google search revealed that Mansfield has a reputation as a highly politicized writer Mike Huckabee loves him, Jon Stewart does not I was puzzled by his early admission that he was not a Guinness drinker, but I thought that might lend a certain objectivity to this little history of my favorite brew However, my nervousness with his scholarship began with his utter surprise that all sorts of earnest Christians, including Martin Luther and the Mayflower Pilgrims, loved their beer I would have thought that this was unworthy of comment, but at least Mansfield was honest enough to admit that he was really starting from zero in his understanding of beer history Mansfield then returns to the topic of the non sinfulness of beer at the end of the book, as if to convince his gentle readers that they can partake in good conscience If he convinces any timid souls, perhaps he has done his own act of Christian social service The author s vague discomfort with his topic, however, remains clear throughout the volume.Mansfield sets out to place the Guinness family within a context of Christian social action, ranging from the mid eighteenth century founding of the brewery to the late twentieth century demise of family corporate control Despite this worthy goal, his selected examples neither go into the necessary depth nor connect to the big picture story that he s trying to weave The author is doggedly determined to show what good folks these Guinnesses were, with very rosy reports of company social services that soundpaternalistic than helpful Though Mansfield asserts that the workers were enthusiastic to improve their housekeeping and sanitation skills, for example, he neglects to interrogate the possibility that a lack of such enthusiasm could result in the loss of a job Union conditions and comparisons with other contemporary Dublin employers are also conspicuously absent from the account.Mansfield s chapter on Guinnesses for God, or the missionary evangelist branch of the family, reads like the book that Mansfield really wanted to write This lively section provides a six degrees of separation analysis of mid nineteenth century preachers like Dwight Moody, Hudson Taylor, and Henry Grattan Guinness Though Mansfield is careful to point out that all work, from brewing to preaching, can be conducted for God s glory, he seems most comfortable with the preachers This made me wonder why he wasted time on the brewers at all Except for the highly readable later chapter on twentieth century Guinness, I didn t glean a lot of insight on the history of Guinness beer Rather than a biography of the beer that changed the world, as the subtitle promises, it s a very hasty biography of selected members of a family whose fortune came from brewing This is an overly long review for a short book that I didn t like very much, but I can t help expressing my disappointment Mansfield s topic is still very appealing to me I would happily read anuanced account of the role that faith may have played in the founding and running of the Guinness beer empire Any recommendations on a better Guinness history, faith inspired or not ^Download Book ☠ The Search for God and Guinness ⇧ The History Of Guinness, One Of The World S Most Famous Brands, Reveals The Noble Heights And Generosity Of A Great Family And An Innovative BusinessIt Began In Ireland In The Mid S The Water In Ireland, Indeed Throughout Europe, Was Famously Undrinkable, And The Gin And Whiskey That Took Its Place Devastated Civil Society It Was A Disease Ridden, Starvation Plagued, Alcoholic Age, And Christians Like Arthur Guinness As Well As Monks And Even Evangelical Churches Brewed Beer That Provided A Healthier Alternative To The Poisonous Waters And Liquors Of The Times This Is Where The Guinness Tale Began Now,Years And OverCountries Later, Guinness Is A Global Brand, One Of The Most Consumed Beverages In The World The Tale That Unfolds During Those Two And A Half Centuries Has Power To Thrill Audiences Today The Generational Drama, Business Adventure, Industrial And Social Reforms, Deep Felt Faith, And The Noblebeer Itself Frothy, Delicious, Intoxicating And Nutritious No, I M Not Talking About Guinness Stout I M Talking About Stephen Mansfield S Fabulous New BookThe Amazing And True Story Of How The Guinness Family Used Its Wealth And Influence To Touch Millions Is An Absolute Inspiration Eric Metaxas, New York Times Best Selling Author It S A Rare Brew That Takes Faith, Philanthropy And The Frothy Head Of Freshly Poured Guinness And Combines Them Into Such An Inspiriting Narrative Cheers To Brewmaster Stephen Mansfield And Cheers To You, The Reader You Re In For A Treat R Emmett Tyrrell Jr Founder And Editor In Chief Of The American Spectator