Prohibition and America's 'War on Alcohol'

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Juice joints, hooch, flappers and speakeasies often come to mind when we think of the Prohibition Era, and historians have often treated it as a little more than a misguided moralistic hissy fit. The influential Richard Hofstadter called prohibition “a means by which the reforming energies of the country were transmuted into mere peevishness.” But Harvard professor Lisa McGirr says we're missing a serious point.  In The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State, she argues that Prohibition planted the seeds for many of the problems we see today in our criminal justice system --  including racial and class inequity, police brutality, and flawed drug policy.

Credits

Guest:
Lisa McGirr - Harvard University - @Harvard_History

Host:
Barbara Bogaev

Producers:
Andrea Brody, Jenny Hamel, Sarah Sweeney