Over at the Washington Free Beacon, I review Susan Cheever’s latest work, Drinking in America: Our Secret History. It’s a mostly entertaining read on how American history has forever been entwined with alcohol—a love/hate relationship that began with the Pilgrims (lovers of beer) vs. the Puritans (guilt-ridden over intoxication). We drank more than anyone in the 1830s, including schoolchildren, and banned it in the 1920s. We’ve gone from beer to rum to whiskey to vodka, and perhaps we are now taking a step back from the colorless, odorless, flavorless edge. Cheever senses the national pendulum is swinging again toward regulation, but ultimately there is no fully going back. Thank God.
Image enhanced by Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon.