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Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent.. Who knew that live music in bars began in the speakeasies of Prohibition? I guess we all did, but this history of the era is a marvel of cultural anthropology; many of the changes in our drinking patterns and mores from that time continue today

Joel Gardner, LitSnap Editor

"Why would Americans curtail their precious right to drink? “Last Call,” by Daniel Okrent, provides the sobering answers. Okrent, the author of four previous books and the first public editor of The New York Times, views Prohibition as one skirmish in a larger war waged by small-town white Protestants who felt besieged by the forces of change then sweeping their nation — a theory first proposed by the historian Richard Hofstadter more than five decades ago.."

The New York Times

"Mr. Okrent wisely expends much effort in carefully gathering the many threads of American thinking, beginning in the late 19th century, that eventually made the preposterous idea of outlawing alcohol seem like a thoroughly reasonable aim. He also provides evocative sketches of the men and women—on both sides of the decades-long, impassioned debate— who were once household names but are now forgotten.."

The Wall Street Journal

Author bio: Daniel Okrent was the first public editor of The New York Times, editor-at-large of Time, Inc., and managing editor of Life magazine. He worked in book publishing as an editor at Knopf and Viking, and was editor-in-chief of general books at Harcourt Brace. He was also a featured commentator on Ken Burns's PBS series, Baseball, and is author of four books, one of which, Great Fortune, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in history. Okrent was also a fellow at the Shorenstein Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he remains an Associate. He lives in Manhattan and on Cape Cod with his wife, poet Rebecca Okrent. They have two children. More information can be found here:

Book Details: Historical Fiction; 480 pp. Dense, but good reading: Kindle/Audiobook/Print editions

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