This text recreates the daily life of the bar room from 1870 to 1920, exploring what it was like to be a "regular" in the old-time saloon of pre-prohibition industrial America. It examines saloon-goers across America, including New York, Chicago, New Orleans and San Francisco, as well as smaller cities such as Sioux City, Shoshone and Oakland. The book takes a look at the rich lore of the bar room - its games, stories, songs, free lunch customs and elaborate system of drinking rituals. It shows how urban workers used saloons as a place to promote their political, social and economic objectives; saloons where union leaders first organized their members, politicians cultivated the working man's vote, and immigrants sought the assistance of their countrymen. It also discusses how gender, ethnicity and class played roles in determining club membership. The author concludes that an underlying code of reciprocity and peer group honour in saloon life unified the regulars and transformed them into a voluntary association.
Thus, amid the fumes of beer and cigars, the regulars were able to cultivate the dual benefits of communal companionship and marketplace clout, making the old-time saloon one of the most versatile, ubiquitous and controversial institution in American history.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 332
Weight: 660 g
Dimensions: 235 x 160 x 25 mm