About Me

 The Killem' Quick Pharmacy, Arsenic, Strychnine, Antipyrin, Nerve Stimulant, Opium, Cocaine. The Ki


Although I specialize in spirits and wine, bars and cultural history, I'm interested in a lot of different things, such as food, drug policy, progressive politics, intersectional feminism, technology and public space. Oh, and monkeys. If you want to get a feel for the type of history I do, check out Wondery Media's American History Tellers' six-part Prohibition series, for which I did the research and wrote the script. It's free. And if you listen, you'll see that some of the problems we face now are the same ones Americans faced in the 1920s.

America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons ... by Christine Sismondo

The Book


This is my second book, America Walks into a Bar. You can still buy it on Amazon - just click on the cover. It's a history of bars as political spaces. At the time it was released, a lot of people were surprised to learn that bars were anything other than a place to get your drink on. Now, though, between "pints and politics" meetings in bars and fundraising campaigns headed up by bartenders, it looks like people are making taverns political spaces again. 

Kelly's Tavern. Barkerville, B.C. 1961.

What else?

Although I do a lot of American history, my PhD dissertation dealt with Toronto bar history. I'm fascinated by both Canadian and American history and the relationship between the two, which is something that comes up a lot in my "Canadian Moments" column - published in Maclean's. I also write about what people drink in bars, largely for the Toronto Star, Quench and the Globe and Mail. I even won a fancy National Magazine Award once!