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Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition
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Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
. A provocative study. Publishers Weekly . A fascinating, nuanced social history. Kirkus . Lively, well-researched, and comprehensive. Jonathan D. Sarna, author of American Judaism . Imaginatively conceived, fiercely researched, beautifully written. Stephen J. Whitfield, author In Search of American Jewish Culture . Groundbreaking study deftly blends social and cultural hi ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by New York University Press
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Dale Rosenberg
Mar 22, 2014 Dale Rosenberg rated it really liked it
An interesting chapter in American Jewish history with which I was unfamiliar. Davis explores Jewish involvement in the alcohol trade in nineteenth and early twentieth century America, focusing on how working in this field both helped connect Jews to the larger culture and, at the same time, worked to define a subculture. Then, with the rise of the Temperance Movement, American Jews had the experience of being on the losing side of a contentious issue that split the nation. How Prohibition influ ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Marni Davis' book offers a glimpse into the dynamics of an ethnic group that, for a long time, was 'not quite white' through the lens of the booze trade. It's a consuming and interesting history, and it shows clearly that assimilation was a fluid dynamic among Jews in the United States until after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. Over the course of just over 200 pages Davis contextualizes the role of Jews in the booze trades and takes us through their changing (and in many respects unchanging) ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Dianne rated it really liked it
This is a well researched and very interesting overview of the role of Jewish immigrants, especially in the years after the Civil War, in the liquor business. What was really fascinating was he history of Jewish immigration to the south, the growth of a southern Jewish community, commerce and anti-semitism.
Jenny Demonic
Aug 27, 2014 Jenny Demonic rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I do hope the irony isn't lost on anyone when I say this is the most DRY book I have ever read on the subject of alcohol. Lists and tangents and citations even in the conclusion, I had such high hopes based on the title of the book. I knew it could be purchased as academic reading for schools which should have given me pause, but the catchy title convinced me to proceed without caution. Well played on that front, Marni Davis. I'm sorry to say that was the best trick of the book: the inside was j ...more
Margaret Sankey
Mar 13, 2012 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
I've always emphasized the anti-German component to prohibition campaigning, but had not considered what Davis outlines--a significant anti-Semitic strain as well. She traces the involvement of Jews in the liquor industry, from post-1848 emigration and the building of a network of breweries, tied saloons and boarding houses, to prohibition, a period in which knowing a rabbi with dispensation for wine became useful and Jewish gangsters like Meyer Lansky openly acted as "tough Jews" as well as eco ...more
May 06, 2015 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Ronald Smith
Mar 12, 2015 Ronald Smith rated it really liked it
I purchased this book as part of my research dealing with the history of beverage alcohol consumption in Atlanta. I’ve since read it multiple times. Only a portion of the book deals with Atlanta history, however it focuses on rarely discussed topics within the city’s history.

A well researched book. Yes it’s academic in nature, but it also reads well.
Dennis Ross
Feb 17, 2013 Dennis Ross rated it it was amazing
Very engaging. Tells an important story and describes it well. I particularly appreciated learning that Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise opposed prohibition on the basis of Church-State separation, arguing that prohibition was the brainchild of religious groups wanting to impose their personal faith restrictions on an entire nation.
Jan 27, 2013 Louise rated it really liked it
Very interesting, well-researched book. The author does a great job of discussing the many sects of Jewish life in the US. I would highly recommend this for anyone interested in Jewish assimilation or prohibition era history.
Oviatt Library
Feb 06, 2012 Oviatt Library rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarian-lynn
This is such a well researched book!
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