Book Review: How Dry We Were

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Book Review: How Dry We Were

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:46 pm

How Dry We Were: Prohibition Revisited, by Henry Lee. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963. Contents, Index, Illustrations, Prohibition Timeline, pp. 244.

The author starts with a couple of short chapters about the growth of the prohibition movement and then gets right into the subject of the book: Prohibition. He covers just about every angle of prohibition from smuggling whiskey in from other countries to moonshing and bootlegging to distribution through the speakeasies and blind tigers. He discusses the social problems that came about as a result of prohibition, such as organized crime and increased intoxication. He also discusses the movement to repeal the 18th admendment.

He covers these subjects in such a way that the reader has no doubt what side he is on and it is a wet side. Even so he does a fairly good job of presenting both sides of the story. His writing is entertaining and interesting. His chapter titles include "Daddy, That Man's at the Door", "They Come by Sea" and "The Good Guys Are Almost as Bad" and reflect some of the humor he puts into the book. The photographs are interesting and captioned and once again reflect the author's sense of humor.

The one fault that can be found with the book is a lack of footnotes or a Bibliography. He uses arguements that can be found in other books on the subject but he fails to credit these other books in any way.

This is a good book to have in a bourbon library because prohibition does play an important role in the history of American Whiskey. The fact this is a good readable book moves it to the top of the list for books on prohibition.

Mike Veach
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Unread postby tlsmothers » Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:16 pm

I was just thinking of hunting down some books on this topic and appreciate the review. What are some other recommended readings to learn more about Prohibition?
"Drinking just to get drunk is like having sex just to get pregnant." --Robert Hess
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Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:16 pm

I have another one I plan on reviewing later this week.

Mike Veach
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