Last Call

The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Okrent, Daniel, 1948-

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Last Call
Okrent explores the origins, implementation, and failure of that great American delusion known as Prohibition. "Last Call" explains how Prohibition happened, what life under it was like, and what it did to the country.

Publisher: New York, NY : Scribner, 2010
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9780743277020
Branch Call Number: 363.4109 O
Characteristics: vii, 468 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.


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Dec 17, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

My business is in with the church. They are slow paying - but they are good.

Dec 17, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

We are doing our best for you but cannot be expected to infringe on the prerogatives of our own people to help you enforce one of your fool laws.

Dec 17, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

There are conditions relating to enforcement which savor of nation-wide scandal.

Dec 17, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

the drys had their law, and the wets would have their liquor.

Dec 02, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A congressional resolution calling for a Prohibition amendment to the Constitution had been introduced in every Congress since 1876, but none had ever emerged from committee.

Dec 02, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I do not desire nor will I tolerate your scurrilous contumely.

Dec 02, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The Non-Drinkers had been organizing for fifty years and the Drinkers had no organization whatever. They had been too busy drinking.

Dec 02, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

..., the original Constitution and its first seventeen amendments limited the activities of government, not of citizens. Now there were two exceptions you couldn't own slaves and you couldn't buy alcohol.


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Dec 02, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

How did a freedom-loving people decide to give up a private right that had been freely exercised by millions upon millions since the first European colonists arrived in the New World.

Feb 11, 2014
  • StarGladiator rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I have so many problems with this book and the author's telling OR re-telling of history: the impetus for the passage of the 16th Amendment contradicts too many other books, recountings, and newspaper articles surrounding those times; instead of collecting tax to pay the interest on the money loaned by the Federal Reserve to the US Treasury (and the Federal Reserve Act, the 16th Amendment and oil depletion allowance were all passed in 1913) they supposedly passed it in conjunction with the FUTURE passage in 1920 of Prohibition? And painting old Joe Kennedy as a saintly type again contradicts way to many books, studies and news accounts I've read over the years; his familiarity with certain mobsters, the machinations involving his Hollywood acquitions, both of companies and actresses? The entire financial angle of Prohibition, and the entities and invididuals who financed its passage, was pretty much glossed over - - it's not the Anti-Saloon League, as much as who was financing it (just as today we shouldn't be concerned with these " fill-in-the-blank Works " so much as that the Koch brothers are financing them, ditto for A.L.E.C., et cetera). Those who thought up and financed the passage of Prohibition, were the same ones who bought up the distilleries and hooches, and arranged the smuggling routes from overseas, and the youngest bank president at that time (Joe Kennedy of Columbia Trust) was often rumored to be that mastermind! SUGGESTION: Look up and read the court cases involving Joseph Kennedy during his activities in the movie business in Hollywood, quite criminal in nature.

Jul 08, 2012
  • oldhag rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Describes how passage of the 16th Amendment allowed Prohibition to come into being because the income tax replaced the money lost from liquor taxes.
Also, details the division between distillers and brewers: "It certainly didn't help that the distilling business had become a largely Jewish industry - perhaps not as uniformly as the beer industry was German". Most interesting was the observation that, prior to the 18th Amendment, only one amendment prohibited Americans from an action, that was the 13th (which Mississippi didn't ratify until 1995). According to the author, before President Roosevelt abolished the Prohibition Bureau, its last head, Alfred V. Dalrymple remarked, "...that had the ASL been willing to accept legalization of light wines and beer, 'the eighteenth amendment would have remained in the Constitution for 100 years'." Scary thought.

Jul 29, 2010

Dense but highly entertaining, this answers the big question--why did the Volstead act become the law of the land? by focusing on the unusual combination of forces that made for prohibition. Interesting discussion of the ways in which big cities were at odds with the 'heartland'--a conflict we still wrestle with.


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Dec 17, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I give the public what the public wants.


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