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He mostly succeeds at showing readers how this boom happened: its history, its economics, its companies and characters. The boom has persuaded stars from Dan Aykroyd to CeeLo Green to launch their own vodka lines, and has prompted hundreds of new craft distillers every year to try their hand at reinventing vodka.

Literary merits aside, this is a beautiful book. It smells good, too. “Vodka” is printed on a heavier stock paper than normal, allowing it to soak up the ink for vivid pictures of vodka ads and bottles, paintings, people, stills and distilleries. These are sprinkled throughout the text rather than segregated in a glossy album.

One can only hope more publishers follow this example. As I was lugging “Vodka” around to read it, several people asked what it was about. Every time, I invited them to flip through the book, to see for themselves. Not a few folks exclaimed, “I want to read it when you’re done.”

Jeremy Lott is an editor at and the author of several far-too-sober books.