AirTalk for June 23, 2010

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Mercer 8357

National Archives

Detroit police inspecting equipment found in a clandestine underground brewery during the prohibition era.

In 1919, the US passed the Eighteenth Amendment banning the sale and consumption of alcohol. The result: one of the worst crime sprees in US history. The rise of organized crime around Prohibition is well known, but Okrent looks at a forgotten aspect of this period: the reaction and response of ordinary citizens to this great social experiment. Daniel Okrent joins guest host Nick Roman to discuss this strange era that lasted from 1920 to 1933.


Daniel Okrent, writer of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (Scribner). He was the first public editor of The New York Times, editor at large at Time, and managing editor of Life magazine.

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