Friday, February 19, 2010

Review: The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield

Stephen Mansfield gave himself a big job in The Search for God and Guinness: write a history of one of the world's most famous beer companies and focus as much attention as possible on the company's founder, Arthur Guinness, about whom very little information exists. His attempt works, for the most part.

The early part of the book, containing fascinating information about the history of beer leading up to the founding of the Guinness company, is sure to be thrilling for any history buff. Mansfield also write about the early days of the company with an obvious affection. There was a need for something safe to drink in Ireland, due to poor water conditions, and Guinness filled the need. The company was also at the forefront of caring for its employees and their families in ways most of us can hardly imagine today.

But the book falters a bit when the real meat and potatoes about Arthur's life has already been explained. What follows isn't exactly filler, but it doesn't make for riveting reading, either. Business owners and business students will find the latter half of the book helpful in their own careers.

(Disclaimer: This book was received for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in return for an honest review on my blog for Booksneeze.)