About three weeks agao I was approached by the University Press of Kentucky. They want me to write a bourbon history. I sent the Laura, the editor for this project an outline and today we sat down and talked the nuts and bolts of the deal and I am going to do it. I have a very busy year ahead of me.
The book will be ten chapters. I hope to have it written by September 2008 and they want a year for the design phase of the book so it will be released in September 2009. They want to do a very nice hard back book with illustrations and other features such as side bars to put in the historical tidbits that may not work into the main text, but are still of interest to the reader. We are also talking about maybe a historical timeline at the end of each chapter to place everything in context or maybe a general bourbon history timeline as an appendix at the end of the book. It will be based upon primary sources and I will document these sources with footnotes so future historians will know where the information came from and how to examine the sources for themselves. This is something I really want in the book.
The book will cover the history of the industry and the product. The focus will not be on individual distilleries but more of their roles in the overall picture. Certain individual people and companies may play a bit bigger role, but that is going to be more for the reason that their papers are available for research. The Taylor-Hay collection is a prime example of this fact. I also plan to carry it into the 21st century with the role of the internet and modern whiskey marketing. Now you know some of my reasons for the interest in the internet's role in bourbon marketing and the present growth of bourbon.
I am going to be busy for the next year. If I spend five weeks writing a chapter, it will take about a year to write this book. If you don't hear from me for an extended period of time, you will know where I am what I am doing. Wish me luck.
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873