To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition Paperback – May 31, 2011
|New from||Used from|
30 of the World's Greatest Historical City Maps
A beautifully illustrated history of the world's most celebrated historical city maps, from the hubs of ancient civilization to sprawling modern mega-cities, created in association with the Smithsonian Institution. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
I chose this book as a Vine selection because it sounded as though it went beyond the common perception of bathtub gin, speakeasies, and G-men in a Warner Bros. movie smashing trucks full of beer kegs. In fact, it did go way beyond that. Daniel Okrent's book is a lively source of all things Prohibition. He provides a rather in-depth history of how special interest groups such as the KKK and church groups and people such as Billy Sunday, Wayne Wheeler and Carrie Nation banded together to popularize the idea of prohibition and how the concept picked up steam politically via lobbying to enforce a law nationally that the public at large really didn't support. The book discusses the key players nationally who supported and also opposed this bill and provided background material/biographies of these people. The implementation of the bill as well as the go-arounds such as bootleg booze and speakeasies are discussed, and the reader is supplied with information regarding how this stuff (some of which proving quite toxic) was made. Also discussed is the general public disatisfaction with the bill and the reasons for its rapid decline/downfall in depression-era America.
One of the things I particularly liked (and possibly even loved) were some of the unexpected little gems such as the way alcoholic beverages were marketed to a pre-prohibition public, the background information on some of the beer barons and distillers and how they rode out the 'dry' spell. Of particular interest was the way in which the ordinary lives of the american people were changed.Read more ›
But the mean thing about this book is that it also tells the whole story of prohibition, weaving together its emergence from various social, ethnic, political and religious roots, showing its connection to the great themes of the twentieth century, how prohibition was advanced by an alliance between what we would describe today as doctrinaire progressives, left-wing feminists and the religious right, and furnishing a social history of the West in the 19th, 20th and no doubt 21st centuries which more profoundly explains where we are and how we got here than many a more pretentious tome. It's just marvelous and will keep you thinking about it long after you've finally made your speech, formalized your wedding, served your time.
It was not a revolution made led by dull people. The morally excited are, for all their dryness (pun intended), more animated, more colorful than the skeptical or the wise. Here the dramatis personnae of this tragicomedy seem more than merely memorable, they come to life on the page. But even in the limelight of the author's wit, prohibitionists don't seem caricatured, uneducated or stupid. (How could they have known? The lessons of hindsight were waiting offstage.) The complex tale of their successful constitutional coup is chronicled here in far more complex depth and detail than you might expect, yet the narrative flows quickly among the actors and events without losing momentum. The avalanche of startling facts and grotesque statistics are leavened with enough really good writing to yield laugh-out-loud descriptions, outrageous quotes and incisive commentary. Along with familiar folks like Rev. Billy Sunday, Carrie Nation, Andrew Volstead, et.al.Read more ›
Though this time period is often featured in fiction and in movies, I found myself repeatedly surprised at how little of this story I already knew. The mutual dependence of the Prohibition movement and Women's suffrage, for example, or the effective nullification of Prohibition by the very Congress that had passed it, as they never allocated money for enforcement. Okrent also has a good sense for amusing anecdote, especially about the larger-than-life characters who violated the law once it was in place (including many members of Congress and of every presidential administration from 1919 to 1933).
The most interesting material in the book, I think, is the discussion of the various *legal* ways that alcohol was produced in the United States or shipped here under prohibition. Demand for drink was so strong that even small loopholes in the law were torn open. "Medicinal" alcohol, "sacramental" wine, even home brewing kits became massive industries.
Between the engaging writing and the Ken Burns documentary to come, it is inevitable that this book will be widely read. As the story of Prohibition sheds light on modern pressure group politics, drug legalization, and fluidity of political alliances, America will be better for having read it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book should be required reading in every 20th Century American history class!!! Not only do we learn why the U.S. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Harry Puncec
I love this book, it's one I ahve read several times and recommend to people. It's easy to see the clear correlation between prohibition and other things that 'right thinking'... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Riva Know
I've never read such a dry book in my life. The first chapter is okay, and then it's downhill. It's factual, yes, but not interesting in the least. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Shy Ann
I have both print and Audible versions. I have been through the book numerous times. It is an excellent account of a fascinating period in history that occurred long before my... Read morePublished 1 month ago by BCW
Daniel Okrent has written a very entertaining and informative history of Prohibition, from its beginnings in the 1880s to its demise in the 1930s. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dwight S. Harvey
Fascinating, fun-to-read, really well-researched work on Prohibition and how it subsequently affected US politics, government and culture. Highly recommend.Published 4 months ago by onceaparisienne
Good book for the information I was looking for.
You can also hear the author interviewed on the NPR radio show "Fresh Air" - “Listen to the Story”, originally broadcast... Read more
Just a splendid book- a great story/history, detailed, clever ever so readable.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer