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This book is probably okay for what it is -- I was just expecting something different.
It gives the lobbying and legislative history of both prohibition and repeal in some detail. It also talks some about the lawlessness of gangsters that occurred in the '20's and touches on the instability of a society that basically nullifies a law by ignoring it.
I felt it did not do justice to the things that led to Prohibition. Don't misunderstand -- I am not pro-prohibition. In fact, I'm for the legalization of drugs. Nevertheless, while the author did talk about the role of women and women's suffrage in connection with the law, it did not really go into any detail about *why* women supported it - in other words, the social problems women, who were without legal rights or protection in a society where saloons were all men bastions and drunkeness often resulted in poverty and abuse against which they had no recourse. Instead, the author concentrated on anti-immigrant feelings which certainly were a factor, but not the whole story.
So, for a bare-line history, an okay book. For analysis, not so good - even in those areas he addressed.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Let me begin by saying that I didn't realize until afterwards that this was abridged. I generally never listen to abridged books, but didn't notice this when I bought it - so it's possible that some of my criticisms may be due to the abridged recording.
I did learn a number of things about Prohibition from this book. I did not realize how intertwined the women's suffrage movement and Prohibition were. Nor did I realize some of the long term implications of Prohibition (and not all of them bad).
The degree to which this constitutional amendment was never really enforced is astounding. But even more so, the fact that you could get two thirds of the politicians and the states to vote for it.
On the surface, I felt that the author was somewhat biased in his opinions on various topics related to Prohibition, however, since this is my first read on the subject, he may be right on all counts. Some of the statements made by individuals involved were absolutely incredible!
Don't know whether to recommend this one or not. If you don't mind abridged books and have little knowledge of Prohibition, I'd go ahead and purchase. Glad I read it, but was not captivated by it either.....
3 of 3 people found this review helpful