Drinking in America

Drinking in America

Our Secret History

Book - 2015
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Presents an exploration of the history of drinking in the United States, discussing how alcohol has shaped American history and character from the seventeenth century to the present.
Publisher: New York, NY : 12Twelve, c2015
Edition: 1st ed
Description: x, 258 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781455513871
Branch Call Number: 394.130973 Che


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Jan 15, 2016

"The United States' history with alcohol is the story of the tension between two poles: temperance and intemperance, drinking and abstinence, liquor and sobriety, addiction and recovery. Our country has been, at times, the drunkest country in the world; our country has been, at times, one of the least drunk countries in the world." As somebody whose been known to enjoy a drink (or six!), I enjoy reading books about drinking, both historical ones and recipe ones. I thought this would be about the history of drink in America and, while it is, it also focuses more on the destructive aspects of drinking and the many alcoholics in our history. Given that Cheever is the daughter of a famous writer who struggled with drinking (John Cheever) and is a recovering alcoholic, perhaps this approach is not surprising. It's fitfully interesting, starting with the Pilgrims landing because they were out of beer, going through the Revolution, which was partially planned in taverns, and then coming to a screeching halt with Prohibition, before picking up again and becoming a vice for a President (Nixon). Lots of famous figures float through and there are plenty of good anecdotes, but an uncertain tone and a lack of organization brings it down.

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