Prohibition Book Review
The academic discussion of the history of prohibition began in 1950 with The Great Illusion: An Informal History of Prohibition by Herbert Asbury. In this narrative historical work he positions prohibition as a cyclical product of several hundred years of conflict between temperate and intemperate forces and makes no reference to the Progressive Era in America. He compares the similarities of the British Parliament failed attempt at prohibition in …show more content…
This discussion is another predominantly narrative historical review of prohibition. He provides the initial and most complete review of the progressive era and the political forces leading up to the ratification of the 18th amendment. In his publication he clearly defines prohibition as part of the Progressive movement. (REF) Hofstadter provides detailed links of political relationships and social reformist of the era. Further discussions on the need for social stability with political power and portrays the prohibition as a social movement are key points. It is one of the most referenced pieces of historical literature in progressive era discussions and his historiographical methods sparked several debates following its publication. He offers some Quantitative history during some of his political narrations, however the material is significantly lacking in references and skewed with political interest from the author. (ref) It is the historiographical criticism and his philosophical discussions on political views that make this an excellent source for a historiographical comparison. The main contribution to historiography is his designating prohibition as the conclusion of an era thus giving the progressive movement a beginning and an end.
Several discussions over the following decade would attempt to solidify prohibition with the progressive movement. There are 3 distinct historiographical changes during this time period along with the re-emergence of opposing historical views. James H. Timberlake in Prohibition and the Progressive Movement, 1900-1920 and Andrew Sinclair in Prohibition: The era of Excess both continued to document the link of prohibition to the progressive era and a result of social, moral and political pressure. REF tim page 2 and