Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America

Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America

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by Edward Behr
     
 

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America in the 19th century was a free-wheeling, hard-drinking land. As the cenury waned, several crusading forces increasingly demanded an end to intemperance, seeking abolition of "the Devil's brew." Here is the full rollicking story of Prohibition, from speakeasies to the St. Valentine's Day massacre, from gangsters and bootleggers to teetotaler Henry Ford.  See more details below

Overview

America in the 19th century was a free-wheeling, hard-drinking land. As the cenury waned, several crusading forces increasingly demanded an end to intemperance, seeking abolition of "the Devil's brew." Here is the full rollicking story of Prohibition, from speakeasies to the St. Valentine's Day massacre, from gangsters and bootleggers to teetotaler Henry Ford.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Prohibition did not go into effect until 1920, but, with the early Americans notorious for heavy drinking, numerous groups had been trying to ban alcohol for decades. Although there were several well-known temperance advocates in the early 1800s, prohibitionists were derailed by a series of more pressing national mattersthe abolitionist movement, the Civil War and Reconstruction. The "dry" cause picked up speed in 1893 with the formation of the Anti-Saloon League. Led by Wayne Wheeler, the ASL was a formidable lobbying group that was able to turn prohibition into a patriotic issue during WWI. With the conclusion of the war, and with the ASL and Wheeler at the height of their powers, passage of the Volstead Act was a foregone conclusion. Behr (The Last Emperor) tracks the 13 years of Prohibition primarily through the actions of Wheeler, bootlegger George Remus and Chicago mayor "Big Bill" Thomson, and in doing so stresses the corruption of politicians and law enforcement officials that made carrying out the 18th Amendment all but impossible. Behr calls Prohibition a disaster that helped cause some of today's problems by spurring the growth of organized crime. He also sees similarities between Prohibition and the current fight against drugs, and argues that an overhaul of antidrug legislation is long overdue. Although Behr's work is not a comprehensive examination of the Prohibition era, it is informative and entertaining from start to finish. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Library Journal
A&E, the Arts and Entertainment cable television channel, intends to produce a three-part miniseries based on this book, an interesting and readable history of the prohibition era. A journalist by trade, Behr masterly integrates family tales and expert interviews into his account of bootlegging, speakeasies, gangsterism, and racketeering. Although much of his book repeats what is already known about the troubled Twenties, it manages to break new ground by thoroughly telling the story of George Remus, a Cincinnati lawyer who became an influential bootlegger. Several chapters are devoted to Remus's business practices and associations with the likes of Harry Daugherty, Warren G. Harding's attorney general. The Remus story nicely illustrates the pervasive corruption of the period and will likely receive much attention in the upcoming television program. As A&E's interest in the book might suggest, it is written for general audiences. Recommended for public and undergraduate collections.Raymond J. Palin, St. Thomas Univ., Miami, Fla.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781435146815
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
07/29/2013
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Edward Behr, a veteran journalist and war correspondent, was the author of several books, including The Last Emperor, Prohibition, and Hirohito: Behind the Myth. He died in 2007.

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Prohibition 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hopefully, once and for all, this country has seen enough bloodshed to last a lifetime in the form of Prohibition in which corruption of the Prohibition Bureau, local cops,politicians (the worst of the breed) judges, juries,gangsters and the common public was so rampant that it walked in common toe against the status quo of the puritanical ways of church-goes, the KKK and women who crusaded against the 'noble experiment.' The hypocrisy that was the Volstead Act led to the most sweeping cultural, political, sexual, drugs, corruption, and gangland violence change that still permeates this country. May Harding and Wheeler rest in slavery equal to Hell. It was a sea-change, sometimes literally with rumrunners and the criminals they were helping like the indomitable George Remus and mythic Al Capone. I was fascinated that Cincinnati played such a huge part in Prohibition, since not much else has happened to the Queen City besides Manson, Doris Day, Cincinnati Zoo, and of course, the Reds. Glad we put something on the map!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sucked sh*t