Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition (Hardback)
  • Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition (Hardback)
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Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition (Hardback)

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£26.99
Hardback 736 Pages / Published: 01/12/2021
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When most people think of the prohibition era, they think of speakeasies, gin runners, and backwoods fundamentalists railing about the ills of strong drink. In other words, in the popular imagination, it is a peculiarly American event. Yet, as Mark Lawrence Schrad shows in Smashing the Liquor Machine, the conventional scholarship on prohibition is extremely misleading for a simple reason: American prohibition was just one piece of a global wave of prohibition laws that occurred around the same time. Schrad's counterintuitive global history of prohibition looks at the anti-alcohol movement around the globe through the experiences of pro-temperance leaders like Thomas Masaryk, founder of Czechoslovakia, Vladimir Lenin, Leo Tolstoy, and anti-colonial activists in India. Schrad argues that temperance wasn't "American exceptionalism" at all, but rather one of the most broad-based and successful transnational social movements of the modern era. In fact, Schrad offers a fundamental re-appraisal of this colorful era to reveal that temperance forces frequently aligned with progressivism, social justice, liberal self-determination, democratic socialism, labor rights, women's rights, and indigenous rights. By placing the temperance movement in a deep global context, he forces us to fundamentally rethink all that we think we know about the movement. Rather than a motley collection of puritanical American evangelicals, the global temperance movement advocated communal self-protection against the corrupt and predatory "liquor machine" that had become exceedingly rich off the misery and addictions of the poor around the world, from the slums of South Asia to central Europe to the Indian reservations of the American west. Unlike many traditional "dry" histories, Smashing the Liquor Machine gives voice to minority and subaltern figures who resisted the global liquor industry, and further highlights that the impulses that led to the temperance movement were far more progressive and variegated than American readers have been led to believe.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190841577
Number of pages: 736
Weight: 1220 g
Dimensions: 245 x 160 x 55 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"The best book on Prohibition, period. It is a revelation on the causes and nature of the Prohibition movement, and takes a properly international perspective, considering colonies and indigenous peoples as well. You will never look at Prohibition the same way again." -- Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University "A wide-ranging, thoroughly revisionist history... Readers won't look at temperance the same way once they take Schrad's inventive and persuasive thesis into account."--Kirkus, Starred Review "[An] eye-opening reevaluation of the global temperance movement... Infused with knowledgeable sketches of world affairs and vivid profiles of activists and political figures including Carrie Nation and Swedish prime minister Hjalmar Branting, this is an authoritative reassessment of a misunderstood chapter in world history."--Publishers Weekly

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