Our annual list of holiday gift suggestions from distinguished readers and writers.
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The new administration of Herbert Hoover and a solidly Republican Congress superficially made Prohibition seem more secure than ever. Of course, the Depression quickly destroyed that supposed consensus, and FDR in 1933 eagerly presided over the un-precedented, lightning-fast repeal of a constitutional amendment. What Hoover had called a “noble” experiment was dramatically ended as quickly as it began.
Why the sudden shift? Partly America’s wealthy elites, like John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford, lost faith in Prohibition. Pierre du Pont bankrolled the repeal movement. He and other wealthy hoped federal taxes on liquor would reduce the income tax and restore prosperity.
The temperance reformers gradually receded into the subculture and were forgotten. Okrent portrays them a little unfairly, describing Methodist bishop James Cannon, a leader of the Anti-Saloon League, as a virtual crank and bigot. In fact, Cannon, besides his anti-liquor crusade, had championed the Armenians during their genocide by the Turks during World War I. In the late 1930s, though an elderly retiree, Cannon sounded the trumpet against Hitlerism. He denounced the U.S. refusal to accept more Jewish refugees and tirelessly worked in alliance with Jews and Catholics in the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People. He chided his surprising friend, H. L. Mencken, for not denouncing Hitler’s crimes against the Jews.
Many of the Prohibitionists were sincere and effective reformers who didn’t know when to stop. Their success with the 18th Amendment was stunning if short lived. And America’s consumption of alcohol has never quite returned to its pre-Prohibition levels.
Mark Tooley is president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington, D.C., and author of Taking Back the United Methodist Church.
CURRENTLY representing Florida’s 22nd District, I proudly served 22 years in the United States Army. Before retiring as a lieutenant colonel, I served as a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army in several combat zones including Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and as a battalion commander for the Army’s 4th Infantry Division. After retirement, I returned to Afghanistan, as a civilian advisor training Afghan officers.
For my reading list, I would choose any book that tells a story of Americans surviving in war during the month of December. As a former soldier, my thoughts are never far from our warrior men and women on distant shores, fighting to protect the freedoms of the people and country they love. The stories of honor, bravery, and devotion to duty from those who serve today, along with those have gone before, should be a profound source of inspiration to all.
Common Sense, by Thomas Paine.
Seven Roads to Hell: A Screaming Eagle at Bastogne, by Donald A. Burgett.
Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, by Stephen E. Ambrose.
Allen West is a Republican U.S. representative from Florida.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online