Prohibition from German perspective (book)

Thomas Welskopp, Amerikas große Ernüchterung: Eine Kulturgeschichte der Prohibition (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2010).

Seit 1920 war ein nationales Alkoholverbot Bestandteil der amerikanischen Verfassung. Wie konnte es dazu kommen? Wie veränderte die Prohibition die amerikanische Gesellschaft? Welche Gründe führten zu ihrer Abschaffung im Jahre 1933? Thomas Welskopp legt eine Gesamtgeschichte und zugleich umfassende Gesellschaftsgeschichte der Vereinigten Staaten in der Zeit des nationalen Alkoholverbots vor. Ebenso anschaulichwie spannend erzählt der Autor, welch dramatischen Einfluss die Prohibitionsfrage und ihre Behandlung auf fast alle gesellschaftlichen Bereiche der USA ausübte. Wie entwickelten sich das Verfassungsrecht, die illegale – aber auch die legale – Alkoholwirtschaft, die Kultur des Trinkens und die Beziehungen zwischen den Geschlechtern, die Organisierte Kriminalität, die religiösen Milieus, die staatlichen Institutionen, die massenmediale Landschaft und schließlich die politische Kultur mitsamt dem amerikanischen Parteiensystem in den Jahren zwischen der Durchsetzung (1919) und der Abschaffung (1933) der National Prohibition?

Favorably reviewed on Amazon.

Available at nine United States libraries and two in the UK.

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Alcohol and politics in 20th-cent Britain (article)

Historical Journal Published online: 28 September 2018, pp. 1-21

This review surveys recent developments in the historiography of the politics of alcohol in twentieth-century Britain. The ‘drink question’ has undergone a set of tumultuous shifts, beginning with the decline of the temperance movement after the First World War, diminished conflict in the interwar and post-1945 periods, and the revived concerns over consumption and harm in the late twentieth century. Historians have traditionally presented the drink question as a binary conflict between advocates and opponents of the liberal distribution of drink. Newer narratives question the assumed ‘rationality’ of modern approaches to alcohol, especially concerning the post-1970s public health model which has been increasingly understood as an indirect manifestation of the temperance movement. The concept of ‘moral panics’ has been frequently employed to frame the formation of public attitudes towards drink. The article argues that these multifarious developments illustrate how alcohol offers a unique vantage point into various social developments in modern Britain, including that of the changing role of the state, the contested nature of scientific knowledge, and the formation of public opinion. It also suggests that the historiography should overcome its narrow focus on alcohol in modern Britain by juxtaposing it with other substances, regions, and periods.

Amphetamines in Brtain (research and articles)

James Pugh, University of Birmingham, UK

My current research explores the history of amphetamines in Britain before, during and after the Second World War. I am interested in how specific cultures develop around drugs, and how societies, organisations and individuals encounter, negotiate and utilise psychoactives. Methodologically, I am concerned with how we excavate the hidden history of drug use and how we manage the fluidity and subjectivity inherent in evidence of drug experiences.