The War on Alcohol

The War on Alcohol

Prohibition and the Rise of the American State

Book - 2016
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Publisher: New York ;, London :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Description: xxii, 330 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780393066951
Branch Call Number: 363.410973 McG


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Mar 05, 2020

"The logic of alcohol prohibition, an effort to eradicate the traffic and use of one mind-altering, physically damaging recreational substance, hardened public opinion toward substances widely judged to be more addictive and harmful than liquour." "Al Capone opened a soup kitchen in Cicero to feed the growing armies of the homeless, and gained wide media attention with it." / " The growth of the federal state in pursuit of Prohibition enforcement is, in other words, a classic case of the aggregation of knowledge and power---the attempt to understand human behavior in order to control it. Prohibition constituted the formative years of the federal penal state and shaped the assumptions and logic still driving this nation's domestic and global war on drugs." "Anton Cermak, champion of the urban ethnic bloc...." "The war on alcohol was brought to an end by a powerful combination of mass hostility to the law, elite opinion makers who dared challenge the consensus, and politicians who saw repeal as the road to the White House and even to party realignment. "

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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