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About the Author

Barry Joseph is former Associate Director for Digital Learning in the Education Department at the American Museum of Natural History. Before that he spent a dozen years as the Director of the Online Leadership Program at Global Kids. His effervescent expertise has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, NPR's All Things Considered, CBS Morning News, Boston Magazine, The New York Post, and more. He became interested in seltzer's history and cultural impact after writing an article about Sodastream for The Forward in 2004 and receiving an outpouring of responses from readers demonstrating their passion for the fizzy.


"It may look like no more than water with some bubbles, but seltzer has become a national obsession. It provides some of soda pop’s kick, but it has no sugar, no calories. Originally, it flowed from some European springs, and English chemist Joseph Priestley lauded its potential benefits. The European beverage translated to the New World as Jewish immigrants carried with them a taste for seltzer. The invention of the siphon (recognizable from a host of American movies as a comic squirting prop) made seltzer available universally. Then soda fountains became fixtures in drug stores, where soda jerks concocted fizzy egg creams and ice cream sodas in a rainbow of flavors. The twentieth century found Americans returning from vacations abroad newly intrigued with bubbly bottled water. After reading Joseph’s anecdotally detailed account, parched drinkers will have a hard time picking up a bottle of sparkling water and not being in awe of this simple beverage’s complicated history." — BooklistIf bubbles could speak, Seltzertopia would chronicle their thoughts. The book pours readers a glass of history, practicality, and fun, using seltzer to 'unpack a broad swath of history.--The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle

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