4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fighting for a way of life,
This review is from: When the Rivers Ran Red: An Amazing Story of Courage and Triumph in America's Wine Country (Hardcover)
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Prohibition sounded good and the majority of America felt that they should support it. America's largest experiment in social engineering became an object lesson in the limits of government and the inadvisability of imposing moral codes on others. While the majority may have voted for the idea of prohibition, they had no intention of living with it. Americans wanted a drink and did not intend to alter their habits, social norms or ideas of fun due to a law. Those working in the production of beer, wine and liquors had no plans of giving up their livelihood either.
Between the producers and the consumers stand a small army of enforcement agents, many of whom are consumers too. How these agents are bypassed, hoodwinked and/or bribed so that supply can find demand was a deadly game played on a national stage. A small part of that story is how the California wine industry survived during prohibition. This book covers Northern California's wine industry, enforcement efforts and how the law is evaded. It is not an easy read; the author has a dry legalist style that keeps this from being really enjoyable. However, he tells a good story, draws very good portraits of the people and displays a real interest in the subject. The book can be fun, can be boring and sometimes seems mostly legal. The author, to his credit, keeps his feelings to himself and is fair to all sides. This is not "The Untouchables" with blazing guns, one-way rides and big city crimes. This is grape growers and wine makers struggling to get by.