Modern history

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

A brilliant, authoritative, and fascinating history of America’s most puzzling era, the years 1920 to 1933, when the US Constitution was amended to restrict one of America’s favorite pastimes: drinking alcoholic beverages.

From its start, America has been awash in drink. The sailing vessel that brought John Winthrop to the shores of the New World in 1630 carried more beer than water. By the 1820s, liquor flowed so plentifully it was cheaper than tea. That Americans would ever agree to relinquish their booze was as improbable as it was astonishing.

Prologue: January 16, 1920

Part I: THE STRUGGLE

Chapter 1. Thunderous Drums and Protestant Nuns

Chapter 2. The Rising of Liquid Bread

Chapter 3. The Most Remarkable Movement

Chapter 4. “Open Fire on the Enemy”

Chapter 5. Triumphant Failure

Chapter 6. Dry-Drys, Wet-Drys, and Hyphens

Chapter 7. From Magna Carta to Volstead

Part II: THE FLOOD

Chapter 8. Starting Line

Chapter 9. A Fabulous Sweepstakes

Chapter 10. Leaks in the Dotted Line

Chapter 11. The Great Whiskey Way

Chapter 12. Blessed Be the Fruit of the Vine

Chapter 13. The Alcohol That Got Away

Chapter 14. The Way We Drank

Part III: THE WAR OF THE WET AND THE DRY

Chapter 15. Open Wounds

Chapter 16. “Escaped on Payment of Money”

Chapter 17. Crime Pays

Chapter 18. The Phony Referendum

Part IV: THE BEGINNING OF THE END, THE END, AND AFTER

Chapter 19. Outrageous Excess

Chapter 20. The Hummingbird That Went to Mars

Chapter 21. Afterlives, and the Missing Man

Epilogue

Appendix: The Constitution of the United States of America

Notes

Sources