THIS DRINKING NATION by Jonathan Harris

THIS DRINKING NATION

Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An insightful history of the social effects of drinking alcoholic beverages and the dramatic seesaw struggles between ``wets'' and ``drys.'' In Harris's view, beliefs and stereotypes (poverty-stricken women wailing at the doors of their husbands' taverns) have as much power to determine social policy as do economic trends (e.g., transportation difficulties that led farmers to rebel against liquor taxes). While listing the usual problems associated with Prohibition (notably the rise of organized crime), the author also cites statistics showing that drink-related diseases and deaths dropped remarkably during the period. Although he doesn't illustrate social conditions with individual stories, the clarity and power of his explanations hold attention. The story is brought home with an account of the controversy over sex-based beer advertising and its potent use of symbols. A well-wrought survey. Further reading; index (not seen). (Nonfiction. 10+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-02-742744-7
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Four Winds/MacMillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1994