The War on Alcohol

The War on Alcohol

Prohibition and the Rise of the American State

Book - 2016
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Prohibition has long been portrayed as a "noble experiment" that failed, a newsreel story of glamorous gangsters, flappers and speakeasies. Now Lisa McGirr dismantles this myth to reveal a much more significant history. Prohibition was the seedbed for a pivotal expansion of the federal government and the genesis of America's contemporary penal state.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : W.W. Norton & Company, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780393066951
Branch Call Number: 363.41 MCGIRR
Characteristics: xxii, 330 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Dec 01, 2015

I look forward to reading this, but unlike the author, years ago when I researched this I came to a somewhat different conclusion: that a criminal mastermind, reported as the youngest bank president at age 25 in history, did leverage his rather pathetic bank, Columbia Trust, as a central point to convince the major money men of Wall Street to invest in the political push for prohibition, while conniving with the criminal outfits like the Chicago Syndicate and others to buy up, steal or strongarm the distilleries and hootches into giving up their ownership to them for a national monopoly. They would then launder much of their ill-gotten gain through the stock market, making for an occasional Roaring Twenties!
That criminal mastermind: old Joe Kennedy, of course!
And where did he come by that idea? While attending Harvard, an economic history course covering a rustic western town, Seattle, which granted women the right to vote in 1883, whereupon the ladies formed a winning political platform to outlaw alcohol consumption, shut down all the saloons and brothels, thereby bringing Seattle to economic ruin, and subsequently losing that right to vote until 1920!
[A fictionalized account of these events was written by Richard Condon called, Mile High.]


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