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Drinking Boston: A History of the City and its Spirits

Drinking Boston: A History of the City and its Spirits



From the camaraderie of the Colonial taverns to the saloons of the turn of the century; from Prohibition—a period rife with class politics, social reform, and opportunism—to a trail of nightclub neon so bright, it was called the “Conga Belt,” Drinking Boston pays tribute to the fascinating role alcohol has played throughout the city’s history

Teasing out this curious relationship—in particular, the clash between a constrained Puritanism (lingering like a hangover today) and a raucous revolutionary spirit—Drinking Boston introduces the cast of characters who championed or vilified drinking and the places where they imbibed, legally and otherwise. Visiting some of Boston’s most storied neighborhood bars, this pub crawl ends with Boston’s distinct recipe for the current cocktail renaissance sweeping the nation.

Stephanie Schorow serves up Boston’s intoxicating story: its spirit of invention, its hardscrabble politics, its mythology, and the city’s never-ending battle between personal freedom and civic reform.

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