679: The Good Cigar by Jeffers and Gordon

by Gerard


679.72: Jeffers, H. Paul & Kevin Gordon. The Good Cigar: A Celebration of the Art of Cigar Smoking. New York: Broadway, 1997. 193 pp. ISBN 0-7679-0036-7.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 670: Manufacturing
  • 679: Other products of specific kinds of materials
  • 679.7: Products of tobacco
  • 679.72: Cigars

The cigar is almost as old as Columbus’s landing in the Americas. Indigenous peoples would smoke the dried leaves of the tobacco plant in clay pipes and every European explorer to reach the Americas brought some back with them. Modern cigars have been around since the early 19th century and come in many different varieties, shapes, and qualities. H. Paul Jeffers’s and Kevin Gordon’s The Good Cigar is an ode to the cigar aficionado that explores the history, manufacture, and personalities surrounding the classic cigar.

First off, there’s a great deal more information here than I expected. Cigars from all over the world are categorized and subcategorized by many different factors. The outer wrapper (where most of the flavor comes from) determines the taste and the market. Then, there’s the type of filler (long versus short), the shapes, and the dimensions. For each cigar company, there are subtle differences in each of these areas used to make their offerings different from other companies. And for the cigar enthusiast, these differences mean the world.

The authors’ history covers a lot of the different companies and how they measure up against each other. But beyond that, he looks at the individuals throughout history that brandished a cigar and tried to popularize them. From Winston Churchill to Groucho Marx to Arnold Schwarzenegger, they present a virtual who’s who of famous cigar smokers. On the whole, there’s a lot of information here, but the catalog of famous cigar smokers was a bit tedious. I’d appreciate more history and less paparazzi. An interesting read.