TitleThe War on Alcohol
AuthorLisa McGirr
ImprintLisa McGirr Ltd
Sales rank4.5


Prohibition has long been portrayed as a noble experiment that failed, a newsreel story of glamorous gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies Now at last Lisa McGirr dismantles this cherished myth to reveal a much significant history Prohibition was the seedbed for a pivotal expansion of the federal government, the genesis of our contemporary penal state Her deeply researched, eye opening account uncovers patterns of enforcement still familiar today the war on alcohol was waged disproportionately in African American, immigrant, and poor white communities Alongside Jim Crow and other discriminatory laws, Prohibition brought coercion into everyday life and even into private homes Its targets coalesced into an electoral base of urban, working class voters that propelled FDR to the White House.This outstanding history also reveals a new genome for the activist American state, one that shows the DNA of the right as well as the left It was Herbert Hoover who built the extensive penal apparatus used by the federal government to combat the crime spawned by Prohibition The subsequent federal wars on crime, on drugs, and on terror all display the inheritances of the war on alcohol McGirr shows the powerful American state to be a bipartisan creation, a legacy not only of the New Deal and the Great Society but also of Prohibition and its progeny.The War on Alcohol is history at its best original, authoritative, and illuminating of our past and its continuing presence today.


Bob Schnell

The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

Lisa McGirr s socio political take on Prohibition and its aftermath is an informative, if a bit academic, take on an American movement that was hugely popular until the reality set in No one really expected the Volstead Act to be responsible for a federal income tax, the rise of the KKK, the mass in... (Sign in to see more)

Chris Jaffe

The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

This is a fresh and original book that has something new to say about the so called noble experiment and can even tie it to recent times McGarr, a professor of history at Harvard whose previous book was Suburban Warrior a look at the post Goldwater conservative movement look at the 1920s prohibition... (Sign in to see more)


The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

Lisa McGirr is obviously well versed in the history surrounding the prohibition In that regard this book is good and therein lies the only good.This book is poorly written It is not too academic it simply lacks good writing Many excellent historians write academically rigorous books, but they manage... (Sign in to see more)

Kristi Thielen

The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

There are many books about the implementation, failure and repeal of Prohibition But McGirr has used her examination to make the compelling case that the Prohibition era laid the foundation for the growth of law enforcement, the increased rates of incarceration and the severe and alarmist attitudes ... (Sign in to see more)

Ken Dowell

The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

The theme of the War on Alcohol, aka Prohibition, is that it was an era which set the tone for much of what we would see in America in coming decades It established political alignments that exist to this day, expanded federal authority and even changed nightlife forever as the male bastion saloon w... (Sign in to see more)


The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

I learned so much McGirr does a great job of providing ample context for understanding a really interesting time period For example, I didn t realize how much racism and classism was a big part of prohibition I should ve thought about those things, but I think many people get swept away with the rom... (Sign in to see more)

Bob Towner

The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

This book was of great interest to me because I have been involved in helping alcoholics and addicts for some time It is also important background when we try to tackle contemporary substance abuse issues From the point of view of criminal justice, the proliferation of prisons, and the growth of gov... (Sign in to see more)


The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

A really interesting look at Prohibition and what the author argues was an unprecedented expansion of federal power to punish that was mainly directed against the poor, Black Americans, and immigrants of a different faith it clearly set the foundations for the war on drugs.

Nicole Cordier

The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

She definitely points out some sides of prohibition that I had never considered before Worth a read, esp if you re interested in some of the super early origins of the war on drugs and the reach of the federal gov.

Darcy Marwick

The War on Alcohol By Lisa McGirr

3 1 2 Stars

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