CARRY NATION by Arnold Madison


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Carry Nation's mother rode about as Queen Victoria until she was put in an asylum after her husband's death, and Carry, who was essentially raised by the family's slaves to protect her from her mother's tantrums, compared herself to Joan of Arc and began conversing with angels at an early age. She twice ""applied for sainthood"" before beginning her ""hatchetation"" campaign, and it was God's voice that sent her marching through Kansas smashing up saloons. After her ""joint"" busting had run its course (it took her all the way to New York City), Carry divided her last years among jail terms, college lectures, ""missionary"" appearances on the burlesque stage, and the incidental care of her dull-witted, alcoholic daughter. Madison, a prosaic writer, begins and ends this by extolling Carry's courage, compassion, and importance to the nation, but his account of her life doesn't transcend the popular image of a bizarre crackpot, an image he claims to deplore.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1977
Publisher: Nelson