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cowdery
06-21-2000, 11:41
I finally had a chance to spend a little time with Sam Cecil's book. It is a noble and valuable effort, but it's too bad they decided to publish the first draft. The most obvious flaw, the lack of an index, has already been noted. There are many others. The illustrations, many of them so badly reproduced you can't even tell what they are supposed to be, seem to be inserted at random, with no relationship to the corresponding text. He also seems not to have consulted any source published after 1970. Anyone with a hard core interest in bourbon history needs to have this book, but the Regan's Book of Bourbon is still a better, more comprehensive reference work, and is much more readable.

Of course, considering the incredible depth's of Sam's knowledge of the subject, if he had done a better job he would have put the rest of us out of business. As it stands, people like me will be able to mine Sam's book for useful gems for years to come.

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

**DONOTDELETE**
06-21-2000, 12:06
Chuck,

Sam had intel on Michter's that the Regan's did not. Is Sam the old man talking about the Beam family in your documentary "Made and Bottled in Kentucky"? Who published Sam's book?

Linn S.

RyanStotz
06-21-2000, 14:06
Precisely my opinion of the book. It will be of use primarily as a reference tool for me, though that use will be strained by the amazing lack of an index. Of course one unintended benefit of this is whenever I go to look up a specific distillery by number and have to flip through the book, I invariably end up sidetracked on some other interesting item. As I can't imagine ever reading it straight through, in order, cover to cover, it'll take me a while to read the whole thing, so I still consider it money well spent, even if it could've been much better. Seems odd that obviously little expense was spared on the full cover dust jacket and cover itself, yet the photo reproduction inside leaves a lot to be desired. The next edition ought to be indispensible for anyone with more than a passing interest in the spirit's history.

Stotz

cowdery
06-22-2000, 08:55
Sam is indeed "the old man talking about the Beam family in your documentary." He writes just like he talks. He has an amazing amount of information, too bad it wasn't presented better in the book.

(from the publisher's web site) Turner Publishing Company (http://www.turneronline.com/), founded in 1977, is the region's leading publisher of community history books, and has published more than 250 books in America. In addition to county histories, Turner is the leading publisher of Military Association History Books with more than 400 titles.

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

**DONOTDELETE**
06-22-2000, 16:00
Chuck,

It's too bad that Turner didn't hire you on as a well informed editor to help Sam with his second draft.

Linn S.

cowdery
06-27-2000, 07:49
Reading between the lines of Turner's business, I think Sam may have funded the book himself.

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

**DONOTDELETE**
06-27-2000, 14:24
Chuck,

I trust your instincts here. From what you and others have said Sam wrote what he knows in the only way he knew how. I'll let you do the hard work of mining the gems. Then I can admire them when you write about them in "The Bourbon Country Reader".

Linn S.