Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
A brilliant, authoritative, and fascinating history of America’s most puzzling era, the years 1920 to 1933, when the U.S. Constitution was amended to restrict one of America’s favorite pastimes: drinking alcoholic beverages.
From its start, America has been awash in drink. The sailing vessel that brought John Winthrop to the shores of the New World in 1630 carried more bee...more
The 18th Amendment also known as The Volstead Act tried to do something that politicians have been trying to do since the founding of the nation. It tried to legislate morality. Its a fact that before Prohibition Americans drank a lot and new Americans drank even more than most, but the 18th Amendment sought to punish everyone for the personal failings of some and in the process made things worse.
Here's a small list of things(both good and bad)that Prohibition gave us: Organized Crime, ...more
Daniel Okrent weaves a brilliant tapestry of the many threads that brought the 18th Amendment into being. But this is not [AHEM!] a dry read. It's full of lively, often astonishing characters like the indomitable Carrie Nation who carried a hammer around, smashed up saloon after saloon and launche ...more
I found the history of alcohol consumption in the U.S. to be of particular interest. See the following link to a graph showing the history of U.S. Alcohol Consumption:
LINK: U.S. Alcohol Consumption
After looking at the above graph one might wonder ...more
The bottom line of prohibition is that is was a massive failure. It singlehandedly created organized crime, cost the government lots of money in lost taxes and enforcement, and failed to stop pretty much anyone from drinking.
The political maneuvering and the influence of pressure groups such as the Anti-Saloon League,the Women's ...more
But Wheeler is not the only prohibition-era titan to have utterly vanished from our national memory. There was Frances Willard, “immortal foun ...more
It appears that the Prohibition Amendment to the Constitution was predicated upon several factors: (1) real concern about alcohol and alcoholism, (2) votes for women--on the presumption that they'd disproportionately support the law, (3) ra ...more
Though the anecdotes regarding bootleggers and rum runners are entertaining, the forma ...more
It is interesting to watch the rise of Prohibition and how it was linked to women's suffrage. In both cases, they were large minorities fixated on one issue, and they found it beneficial to team up.
How that ball gets rolling is one of the more interesting stories of the boo ...more
There is so much to unpack here that I do not even know where to start. What an amazing book. I knew about Prohibition of course, but I didn't REALLY know about Prohibition. I certainly do now. And what a story!! Some of the things people did to make "gin" [and not always in a bathtub either] is simply horrifying. I kept sending texts to my friend saying "I don't think suchandsuch is a good idea to drink" over and over. And the people that were involved in bootlegging tha ...more
It had such potential. I wanted a captivating story about the mafia and corruption and the new inventions and stats on how widespread the bootlegging became. But the author, like many historians, got bogged down in detail. New people with random trivia facts were introduced almost every other paragraph. There wasn’t one coherent story centered ...more
The movement for Prohibition made for some odd bedfellows. It came hand-in-hand with ...more
"The story of the War on Alcohol has never needed to be told more urgently—because its grandchild, the War on Drugs, shares the same DNA. Okrent alludes to the parallel only briefly, on his final page, but it hangs over the book like old booze-fumes — and proves yet again Mark Twain's dictum: "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
With the passage of the 18th Amendment in 1921, the dysfunctions of Prohibition began. ...more
Carrie Nation: The Famous and Original Bar Room Smasher
Agent M.T. Gonzaulles: The Lone Wolf of Texas
Agent William R. Hervey: The Kokomo Schoolmaster
Agent Samuel Kurtzman: The Plague of the North
Agent Al Wolff: Wallpaper (because when he raided a joint, he packed up everything but the wallpaper)
Agent Daisy Simpson: The Woman with a Hundred Disguises
Assistant Attorney General Mabel Walker Willebrandt: The Prohibition P ...more
Okrent's insights regarding the rise and fall of prohibition ...more