Although the complete ban on the right to buy or sell alcoholic drink that began on 17 January 1920 was instigated to 'do America good', in effect it had the opposite result. Many Americans distilled moonshine from toxic substances in their baths, drank in speakeasies and smuggled illegal liquor. As the BBC 2 television series, on which this book is based, so eloquently showed, Prohibition bred corruption at all government and police levels, and turned Al Capone into Chicago's uncrowned king. Never has such a well-meaning measure provoked such crime and suffering. The Temperance lobbies and Anti-Saloon League had their way for over thirteen years: years which created deep intolerances, transformed the nation's morals and spread bribery, violence, cynicism and immorality from the gangsters of underworld to the highest office in the land. In his fascinating account of how Prohibition shaped modern-day America, Edward Behr recounts many shocking and compelling stories, including that of Geroge Remus, America's most successful bootlegger, who killed his wife, but still became a national hero.
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Behr masterfully integrates family tales and expert interviews into his account of bootlegging, speakeasies, gangsterism, and racketeering.About the Author:
Edward Behr is a veteran journalist and war correspondent turned author and broadcaster. His many books include studies of the Algerian War, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a best-selling biography of the 'Last Emperor', Pu Yi ( which was awarded the Gutenberg Prize in 1988 and was the companion book to Bertolucci's Oscar-winning film), and another, published in Penguin, on the late Emperor Hirohito. Behr's autobiography and humorous reflections on the nature of journalism, Anyone Here Been Raped and Speaks English?, also published in Penguin, is regarded as a modern classic, and his novel, Getting Even, has been translated into ten languages. His numerous television documentaries include Red Dynasty, a three- part series for BBC2 which documented Chinese communism and the events leading to the massacre at Tiananmen Square; The Rise and Fall of Ceausescu, a BBC-PBS co-production which was nominated for an Emmy in 1992; and a prize-winning documentary on India for French television. He has also written film scripts and published books on the musicals Les Miserables and the making of Miss Saigon. When not travelling, Edward Behr lives in Paris and in Ramatuelle with his wife and two cats.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140272550