Last Call The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

ISBN-10: 074327704X

ISBN-13: 9780743277044

Edition: 2010

Authors: Daniel Okrent
List price: $18.00 Buy it from $2.76
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Description: 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 beer than water. By the 1820s, liquor flowed so plentifully it was cheaper than tea. That Americans would ever agree to relinquish their booze was as improbable as it was astonishing. Yet we did, and Last Call is Daniel Okrent's dazzling explanation of why we did it, what life under Prohibition was like, and how such an unprecedented degree of government interference in the private lives of Americans changed the country forever. Writing with both wit and historical acuity, Okrent reveals how Prohibition marked a confluence of diverse forces: the growing political power of the women's suffrage movement, which allied itself with the antiliquor campaign; the fear of small-town, native-stock Protestants that they were losing control of their country to the immigrants of the large cities; the anti-German sentiment stoked by World War I; and a variety of other unlikely factors, ranging from the rise of the automobile to the advent of the income tax.Through it all, Americans kept drinking, going to remarkably creative lengths to smuggle, sell, conceal, and convivially (and sometimes fatally) imbibe their favorite intoxicants. Last Call is peopled with vivid characters of an astonishing variety: Susan B. Anthony and Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan and bootlegger Sam Bronfman, Pierre S. du Pont and H. L. Mencken, Meyer Lansky and the incredible if long-forgotten federal official Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who throughout the twenties was the most powerful woman in the country. (Perhaps most surprising of all is Okrent's account of Joseph P. Kennedy's legendary, and long-misunderstood, role in the liquor business.) It' a book rich with stories from nearly all parts of the country. Okrent's narrative runs through smoky Manhattan speakeasies, where relations between the sexes were changed forever; California vineyards busily producing "sacramental" wine; New England fishing communities that gave up fishing for the more lucrative rum-running business; and in Washington, the halls of Congress itself, where politicians who had voted for Prohibition drank openly and without apology. Last Call is capacious, meticulous, and thrillingly told. It stands as the most complete history of Prohibition ever written and confirms Daniel Okrent's rank as a major American writer.

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Book details

List price: $18.00
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 5/31/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.254
Language: English

Daniel Okrent is an editor-at-large at TIME, INC., and has published four books, including the best-selling BASEBALL ANECDOTES and NINE INNINGS: THE ANATOMY OF A BASEBALL GAME. The author resides in New York City.

Prologue January 16, 1920
The Struggle
Thunderous Drams and Protestant Nuns
The Rising of Liquid Bread
The Most Remarkable Movement
�Open Fire on the Enemy�
Triumphant Failure
Dry-Drys, Wet-Drys, and Hyphens
From Magna Carta to Volstead
The Flood
Starting Line
A Fabulous Sweepstakes
Leaks in the Dotted Line
The Great Whiskey Way
Blessed Be the Fruit of the Vine
The Alcohol That Got Away
The Way We Drank
The War of The Wet and the Dry
Open Wounds
�Escaped on Payment of Money�
Crime Pays
The Phony Referendum
The Beginning of the End, the End, and After
Outrageous Excess
The Hummingbird That Went to Mars
Afterlives, and the Missing Man
Epilogue
Acknowledgments
Appendix: The Constitution of the United States of America
Notes
Sources
Index
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