The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Speaking of booze
Tom Smith

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.

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Tom Smith
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Comments

My reading of booze suggest that no one ever approached the British consumption of the 18th and early 19th century. But I will defer to Dearieme.

Posted by: james wilson | Jun 9, 2010 8:53:30 AM

Could be, james; family legends don't stretch back that far for me.

Posted by: dearieme | Jun 9, 2010 9:32:10 AM

"that no one ever approached the British consumption of the 18th and early 19th century"

Excessive that was, but any comparisons to Russia?

Posted by: tehag | Jun 10, 2010 11:03:53 AM

Ah yes, the Russians. But at least, as far as we know, the children are not potted.

Posted by: james wilson | Jun 10, 2010 9:39:44 PM