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'Beer Here!' v. the WCTU: How Breweries and Saloons Caused Prohibition

  • Whiskey Thief Tavern 616 Davis Street Evanston, IL, 60201 United States (map)

The onset of Prohibition is often, and mistakenly, attributed to the activism of the Evanston-based Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.  In reality, as explored in George Ade’s The Old-Time Saloon: Not Wet—Not Dry, Just History, the excesses of saloon keepers, brewery magnates, and distilleries led to a political crusade not just against booze (or for temperance) but against the American saloon and its culture of public drinking and (too often) political corruption, law-breaking, and vice.  Bill Savage will read from his newly annotated edition of Ade’s book and explore the historical narrative and the forgotten aspects of the rise and fall of Prohibition in the United States (and Evanston!).