THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF BOURBON by Gerald Carson

THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF BOURBON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A somewhat rye (oops!) account of the social history of bourbon, its rise, fall and rise again, this is documented and full of folklore. On some points spirited, on others soggy, it traces the beginnings of bourbon in Kentucky's county of that name; by 1812, there were over 2000 distilleries. There had been a ""Whisky Rebellion"" but the excise tax stayed and it kept going up, up, up; from New England to the South the barrels rolled; so did moonshining and mountain songs: ""I'll go to some holler, I'll put up my still, I'll make you one gallon for a two dollar bill"". Came the Civil War--and Lincoln sent a note asking the name of the brand Grant drank- he would recommend it to his other generals. According to the author and Mark Twain, without bourbon and ditch water the Old West could hardly have survived. With an expanding economy the Whisky Trust was born; so too was the corner saloon, the swinging door, the ""longest bar in the world"", and on the wall the come-on nude. Enter the WCTU and hatchet-happy Carry Nation; by 1920 every state in the Union went dry. But since drinking ""maketh glad the heart"", the powers of dullness could not last. Prohibition ended... Boy meets drink, boy loses drink, boy gets drink. QED. A curiosa item by the man who amusingly annotated the country store and cornflakes.

ISBN: 0813126584
Publisher: Dodd, Mead