*Prohibition: A Concise History*

That is a new and truly excellent book by W.J. Rorabaugh.  It is a perfect 116 pp. of text and a model for what many other books should be.

From 1825 to 1850, the per capita consumption of alcohol in the United States dropped by half, due largely to religious influence.

As late as 1914, alcohol taxes accounted for 35 percent of the revenue of the federal government.

The Russian government moved to prohibition during WWI, and the resulting loss of revenue was a significant factor contributing to the downfall of the regime.

Note that “per capita consumption of alcohol was reduced for a very long time.”  If you were born in 1900, for instance, you could not legally drink until 1933, at the age of thirty-three, a relatively late age for this habit to form.

Today “more than half of Mexican American women are teetotalers.”  And: “African Americans continue to be light drinkers, and more than half of black women do not drink.”

Strongly recommended.  If all books were like this, it would be hard for me to tear myself away from them.

Comments

If only every book was about NOT doing something--like not drinking, they'd be fascinating.

In a couple of areas of Britain with big munitions factories, the pubs and breweries were nationalised, as a temporary measure, in WWI. They were finally de-nationalised in the 1970s.

If it was up to me, alcohol would be banned. Alcohol, idols, communismbsnd cow worshipping are Satan's tools.

*were

Cool.

If you could work in nuking the gay iranian whales you would have everything covered,

Thiago reveals himself as a non-fun loving puritan wet blanket. Do not vote for him ever for any office.

A rare bit of (almost) sanity from Thiago.

Ideally, it should be banned. Certainly if it were "discovered" today, it would be declared illegal. But that particular cat has left his bag behind the barn door and sailed long, long, long ago. And good luck banning something you can make in any given backyard.

It should be staggeringly highly taxed, like tobacco is, but more so. And preferably at the Federal level. You should probably need a special license to buy it as well, like a gun, and with the same reasoning: use it in a way that endangers society and lose your license.

AA is no different than using a pair of crutches. Depression is no different than taking medication for diabetes. There is rotting in America indeed, from the inside, from the metaphor.

Why Christianity is said to be a monotheism when you can count at least five gods: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary and Satan?

It is not true: there is only one god: God.

As the son comes after the father, so the son is created by his father. So if he is created, he is not a God.

Arius rides again.

The benevolent government did this to discourage alcohol consumption during the prohibition era. This is the same government that allows and encourages asset forfeiture, sends surplus military equipment to local police forces, builds phony dossiers on political candidates and uses the IRS as a weapon against political opponents.

As for the book, I hope it explains that Prohibition ended because the government couldn't live without the tax money.

Which is also why alcohol consumption is so heavily promoted, and never discouraged, to this day.

So go get hammered, everyone! Somewhere there's a government worker looking to retire at 52, and they are counting on you!!

The Progressive Era--that awful aberration and gift that keeps on giving--marked the transition from small and bearable customs and excise taxes to the awful income and payroll taxes which support Leviathan today.

https://taxfoundation.org/how-has-federal-revenue-changed-over-time/

Prohibition ended because of the massive distortions induced by banning alcohol, a substance in common use since pre-history.

Short and concise works are commendable, as long as they offer thorough accounts.

Does the Rorabaugh book cover the history of the American ladies' "temperance leagues", which shifted position over the course of some fifty years from "temperance" (a signal of social satisfaction with moderation of intake) to "prohibition" (signaling a shift to the markedly improved moral stance of perfect abstinence)?

Women voters gave us the Progressive Era. Repeal the 19th.

Not joking.

The Progressive era was over and done with by the time the 19th amendment was enacted. It's heyday the early 1900s, pre WWI. Prohibition was in many ways its last hurrah.

Not joking, just wasting pixels

Does add anything different than Daniel Okrent's book? That's my go to recommendation for Prohibtion history.

Okrent by the way wrote one of the best baseball books ever, Nine Innings. Explores all aspects of the game in a stream of consciousness built around a during a meaningless Brewers snoozer.

More freak alcohol facts: per capita consumption of wine is way down since the 1970s.

For example, for wine (9-18% alcohol): France in 1970 consumed 108 liters of wine per person per year, in 1980, 81 liters, and in 1997, 60 liters. The trend is similar in other EU countries (including Spain). Bucking this trend: Uruguay (26l in 1970, 34l in 1997); also Denmark went from 6l to 29l, Germany 16l to 23l. Perhaps these countries that increased switched from hard liquor to wine? In the USA it went from 5l to 8l to 7l during these three data points for wine. Russians in the late 90s consumed 40 liters of alcohol a year, but I'm not sure they are counting pure alcohol or just vodka, which is roughly 40% alcohol, still, that's a lot (40/0.4 = 100 liters of vodka a person, and many people don't drink, so roughly that's 1 liter of vodka every three days, on average, so figure some people consume one or more liters of vodka a day).

Alternate view: no molecule has afforded so many people throughout history so much pleasure & goodwill in the company of others.

If more people drank alcohol, there would be lower overall cardiovascular mortality.

And, if a small minority of drinkers would abstain, or, drink less, there would be a huge reduction in personal violence [especially directed towards women].

Alchohol - the source and the solution to all of life's problems.

Hey quit stealing my lines!

Claiming that Prohibition was the result of "religious influence" is simplistic as it ignores contemporaneous social matters.

In the 18th century, domestic abuse (fueled by alcohol) was rampant. The suffragette movement was largely intertwined with Prohibition and an awakening of charismatic religious fervor.

My hypothesis, consistent with these trends but unsupported by rigorous analysis, is that the Civil War created massive PTSD culminating in substance abuse and violence. Alcohol and religion were coping mechanisms. The former subsequently caused new problems. Somehow, in ways I can't fully comprehend, the end of slavery also fed into this social upheaval. The era of industrialization was just beginning. If you were a lower class white Male in the postwar period, your world seemed to have been destroyed. Women and children suffered from the backlash.

Typo: I meant late 19th century.

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