Bootleg (Hardcover)

Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition

By Karen Blumenthal

Flash Point, 9781596434493, 154pp.

Publication Date: May 24, 2011



It began with the best of intentions. Worried about the effects of alcohol on American families, mothers and civic leaders started a movement to outlaw drinking in public places. Over time, their protests, petitions, and activism paid off when a Constitional Amendment banning the sale and consumption of alcohol was ratified, it was hailed as the end of public drunkenness, alcoholism, and a host of other social ills related to booze. Instead, it began a decade of lawlessness, when children smuggled (and drank) illegal alcohol, the most upright citizens casually broke the law, and a host of notorious gangsters entered the public eye. Filled with period art and photographs, anecdotes, and portraits of unique characters from the era, this fascinating book looks at the rise and fall of the disastrous social experiment known as Prohibition.

Bootleg is a 2011 Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year title.
One of School Library Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of 2011.
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist in 2012.

About the Author

KAREN BLUMENTHAL is a long-time journalist who has written for both adults and young people. She previously wrote about the 1920s in Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929, which was a Sibert Honor Book, and about social change in Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, which won a Jane Addams Children's Book Award. She lives in Dallas, Texas.

Praise For Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition

"The breadth of the well-researched material makes Bootleg a substantial resource for reports; a deep bibliography and copious source notes provide ample opportunities for further study…this book is also a lively read…” --School Library Journal While lively anecdotes and personal stories keep the reading brisk and often quite jovial, readers are never allowed to ignore the fact that so many “good” citizens became insidiously inured to casually breaking the law, and that acknowledging the realities of this moral lapse ultimately led to repeal.” --BCCB "An informative, insightful account of a fascinating period of American history.” --Kirkus Reviews "The scope is ambitious, but Blumenthal investigates various tangents with telling anecdotes, quotes, statistics, photographs, and illustrations without losing her focus on the bigger picture. Whether you consider ongoing problems with substance abuse or increasingly polarized political discourse, the book is startlingly relevant to modern times in many ways, marking Blumenthal as one of the more intellectually adventurous authors writing for young adults today.” --Horn Book Magazine “…a highly readable, well-shaped look at the Eighteenth Amendment… Plenty of archival images lend to the book’s pleasant design, and an ample bibliography and source notes close out this top-notch resource, which will also help spark discussion on the current War on Drugs.” --Booklist