Bootleg Paradise

Seeking a monument to Prohibition’s immense impact on American society, the writer finds it in a French colony.

Prohibition ranks among America’s most vivid historic epochs. Yet the era of flappers and jazz is also curiously Oz-like. The drinking ban dominated the American social and cultural conversation between 1920 and 1933. Then one day the country awoke as if from a dream to find all traces of it gone, save for a few bootlegged bottles that washed up at local historical society museums, flotsam on history’s beach. Read more »

Reflections On The Dry Season

The voice down at the other end of the table was edged with irritation. “Damn it, Prohibition was a failure too. You’d think we’d have learned something by now!” Then my friend turned to the dinner party’s in-house historian. “Right, Bernie?”

“Sure” was my quick answer. Like most quick answers, it was too easy. Read more »