Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Professor Rappaport's post of the Hitch reminds me of this book on Prohibition. It seems prohibition was a high water mark, so to speak, of progressivism. But before it, the US was evidently an astonishingly inebriated nation. We drank on average seven gallons of pure alcohol per year, which is the equivalent of two bottles of standard 80 proof liquor per week. And if I understood correctly, that's two per every man woman and child. Visitors from Great Britain and Europe, which were no slouches themselves in the arts of elbow, remarked on the steady pouring of intoxicating beverages in the young republic. There were many reasons for this, one of them being the scarcity of pure water, another presumably being a universal desire to get pasted. I didn't finish the book, having only read the KIndle sample, so I don't know what led the States to moderate itself.