Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Prohibition
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This paper offers a very positive review of a highly entertaining and enlightening book, Daniel Okrent's "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition", that details the social and political aspects of the Prohibition era in the United States. The paper outlines how Okrent regales the reader with information on wet, dry, criminal and law enforcement sides of Prohibition and how he emphasizes the lessons to be learned from Prohibition and it's repeal. The paper notes the faults in Okrent's work but posits that they can easily be forgiven since it is such a beautifully written enlightening history. Furthermore, this writer asserts that Okrent's analytic ability is profound and his understanding of American culture has created an illuminating and amusing re-introduction to an incredibly complex battle that was fought over decades and ought to be remembered.
From the Paper:"You can find out everything you ever wanted to know about prohibition from Daniel Okrent's Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (2010). This book is brilliantly written, packed with laughs, overflows with superior research, and provides a thorough and fascinating explication of a time when the United States tried to legislate drunks and drinking into extinction offering a lesson from history that Americans ought not forget.
"Part I, "The Struggle," covers all the opening salvos in the war against Demon Rum and John Barleycorn, telling the story of the long preamble to the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment on January 16, 1919. From the beginning Okrent shows that he will be mincing no words: "How did a freedom-loving people decide to give up a private right...so freely exercised by millions...since colonists first arrived in the New World? How did they condemn to extinction what was...the fifth largest industry in the nation? How did they append to their most sacred document 112 words that knew only one precedent in America history?" (3). The only other limitation put upon American citizens had been that they were not allowed to own slaves. All the other constitutional amendments had to do with protecting rather than limiting liberty. How had drinking become equated with slavery? "How the hell did it happen?" (3)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Okrent, D. Last call: The rise and fall of prohibition. New York: Scribner, 2010. Print
Cite this Book Review:
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Prohibition (2013, May 05) Retrieved February 19, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-prohibition-153152/
"Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Prohibition" 05 May 2013. Web. 19 February. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-prohibition-153152/>