Brianna's Reviews > Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition

Bootleg by Karen Blumenthal
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Feb 27, 12

bookshelves: nonfiction, middle-grade
Read in February, 2012

I picked up this book because of the SLJ Battle of the Books. It was not a topic I would have been interested in reading about otherwise. To my delight, I became engrossed in Blumenthal's tales of lawlessness during prohibition. This was an engaging narrative of the dry years of the United States, featuring the stories of those people who rose to prominence during that time - either for their stance against alcohol or their illegal dealings getting alcohol to the public.

What struck me about this book was that it chronicled the rise and fall of a constitutional amendment that limited personal choice. It showed how poorly executed that amendment was, and the dire consequences of passing a law that cannot be easily regulated. This seemed very timely to me, especially as I hear the GOP candidates talking about issues of personal choice constantly on their campaign trail. I wanted to send them copies of this book with a note that says, "It doesn't work, guys. Sorry." I have no idea if Blumenthal intended this book to be a cautionary tale to contemporary Americans, but that's certainly how I interpreted it.
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