Hot tip on another new book, this one a history of the early twentieth-century Prohibition movement: Daniel Okrent’s Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.
In my opinion, up to now, no one has written a particularly good, accessible history of Prohibition. As I noted in Ambitious Brew, most accounts focus on speakeasies and gunslingers, and so completely miss the extraordinary political/lobbying group that built the 18th Amendment over a period of 25 years.
But I gather that Okrent has gotten it right. The book just came out, so presumably it’s available anywhere fine-and-not-so-fine books are sold. .
I’ve not yet read the book (honest: I’m up to my ears in poultry trade journals…), but it sounds like a winner. So if you’re looking for a good nonfiction read with which to kick off your summer, I doubt you can do better than this. (For a substantive review, see this from last Sunday’s New York Times.)
As for me, I plan to read it — ya know, just as soon as I bring my brain up out of the chicken coop. Which should be soon (I’m writing the relevant chapter and when I finish it, I plan to reward myself by resuming my regular break-neck pace of blogging.)