By Tom Gilling
The marines on the First Fleet refused to sail without it. Convicts risked their necks to get hold of it. Rum built a hospital and sparked a revolution, made fortunes and ruined lives. In a society with few luxuries, liquor was power. It played a crucial role, not just in the lives of individuals like James Squire - the London chicken thief who became Australia's first brewer - but in the transformation of a starving penal outpost into a prosperous trading port.Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, Grog offers an intoxicating look at the first decades of European settlement and explores the origins of Australia's fraught love affair with the hard stuff.