War, Wine, and Taxes

Why do the British drink beer and the French drink wine? In his new book, War, Wine, and Taxes, George Mason University economist John V.C. Nye debunks the myth that Britain was a free-trading nation during and after the Industrial Revolution by revealing how the British used tariffs-especially on French wine-as a mercantilist tool to weaken France and to appease domestic brewers and other politically connected special interests. It's a boldly revisionist account of economic history and one whose relevance to contemporary trade policy is all too troubling.

Nye spoke with Reason Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie at a reception in Reason's Washington office on October 9.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

Click here to follow Reason on Instagram

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE