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Ken Burns: Prohibition [Blu-ray]
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Looking back, it seems as if the nation was crazy to actually pass a law that prohibited alcoholic beverages in all its forms. But times were different then. In the small town Americana of 1919 men were getting dead drunk and abusing their families. For the first time in history, women asserted themselves and organized the Women's Christian Temperance Union, marching in the streets and eventually influencing legislation. It was different in the cities however, where an immigrant population did not see liquor as a menace. Thus began the age of Prohibition and the biggest crime wave and social change that America has ever seen.
This documentary tells it all with excellent film clips, fine historical research and clear and focused narration. I loved every minute of it, learned a lot, and revisited old stories told to me as a child. This series is absolutely spectacular, I give it my highest rating and am delighted that it is now available for purchase.
There are three dvds in here, for a total of more than 6 hours of footage. The first dvd covers the birth of the idea of prohibiting alcohol from Americans' lives, back in the 1800s: how people lived, what they drank and how much, how this affected everyday life, how the first prohibition movements worked. The second discusses the life of the 18th Amendment: how it was lobbied by the anti-saloon league, the way distrust towards immigrants played a big part in it, how this changed the life of people, especially youth. The last dvd addresses the way gangsters profited from the law, how this took away the trust of people for the law and order and especially for Prohibition, how when the Great Depression kicked in the 18th Amendment was finally repealed.
There is a huge amount of images from the time discussed. Mainly photographs in the first dvd, but a huge amount of it. So many videos in the other two, coming from Twenties films, but also non-fiction footage and even some personal photos and video. I love this.
Beside interview with experts - including Okrent - there are a number of interviews with people who were young during Prohibition. Oral history is incredible. People who remember often have a very different view, their tales have a different mood from the commentary from experts. And the one always enriches the other.
There is a thing where the documentary goes in a different direction than the book. Where the book focuses on everyday life and the way Prohibition affected it, the documentary focuses more on personalities.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Prohibition is one of most fascinating, yet sadly depressing stories in the history of our country. This special should be required viewing for all Americans. Highly Recommended!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is a good overview of Prohibition; however, the program was too detailed and he could have made the show in two episodes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Fowler
Very educational and interesting. If youre a fan of the roaring 20s and Capone era youll love this.Published 3 months ago by jason
If you are someone who enjoys American History watch this documentary. I watched this documentary, which inspired me to buy Daniel Okrent's book about Prohibition. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Spencer Palmer
After having seen THE DUST BOWL, I thought that Ken Burns had surely hit his peak. Well, PROHIBITION is every bit as informative, entertaining, and engrossing. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein
I am doing research for a county museum so found this film on Al Capone very helpful. It is very interesting and thoroughly enjoy watching it.Published 5 months ago by Jane Fowler