Saturday, July 24, 2010

Book Review: Last Call

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of ProhibitionLast Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What do the rise of feminism, pietism, socialism, The Klan, xenophobia (the irrational fear of people from other places), Henry Ford, nativism, income tax, organized crime, "big-brother" and big government have in common? As Daniel Okrent cogently and very entertainingly explains: The 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibiting the manufacture and sale of "intoxicating beverages" in the USA, or "Prohibition" for short.

Okrent's insights regarding the rise and fall of prohibition are lucid and informative, and his prose is colorful and eminently readable. Would that all history books were this enjoyable to read!

The chapters on Wayne Wheeler were worth the price of the book alone. Wayne Wheeler who once wielded more influence upon both houses of Congress than any individual or PAC before or since his "reign" as the director of the "Anti Saloon League."

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