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Linda Himelstein 

When: Sun., Dec. 12, 6 p.m. 2010
Price: free

Behind that potent glass of Smirnoff Vodka lies the saga of a Russian serf who became a brilliant businessman by building a brand that was a favorite of the czars. At Books Inc. (1760 Fourth St., Berkeley) on Sunday, Dec. 12, Linda Himelstein discusses her book The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire. Born in 1831, Smirnov rode the political and social currents of an era fraught with chaos, triumph, and tragedy. 6 p.m., free. BooksInc.net

— Anneli Rufus

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