High and Dry on the North Shore
When the 18th Amendment was enacted in 1919, the fifth-largest industry in the United States became illegal. While many parts of the country (including, famously, many north-of-Chicago suburbs) were already legally “Dry,” Prohibition changed the political and moral landscape of the nation, introducing intrusive federal law enforcement, a new kind of organized crime, and the “scofflaw.” In this talk, Bill Savage will discuss how the politics of Temperance, and the battle between Wets and Drys, exposes rifts in American identity (and American food-and-drink culture) that still resonate today. Using George Ade’s The Old-Time Saloon as a guide, he will explore Prohibition historian Daniel Okrent’s not-so-rhetorical question: “How the Hell Did that Happen?”
Bill Savage teaches American literature at Northwestern University and the Newberry Library of Chicago, with special emphasis on Chicago writers and the dynamics of urban spaces, including saloons then and now. He edited and annotated Ade’s The Old-Time Saloon (University of Chicago Press, 2016) and Chicago By Day and Night: a Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America (with Paul Durica, Northwestern University Press, 2013), a guide to night life during the 1893 World’s Fair. Books will be for sale, cash or check.
This program is hosted by the Chicago Foodways Roundtable with the Highland Park Historical Society and Highwood Historical Society.
Recorded at Santi’s Garden, Highwood on September 20, 2018.
Pieces of History was researched and written by Nancy Webster.