cache 480 240 4 0 80 16777215 0807686 Im Prohibition

Defining Moments


  • Author/Editor: Jeff Hill
  • Binding: Library binding
  • Trim Size: 7 1/4 x 9 1/4
  • Page Count: 201
  • Book Level:
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • ISBN: 978-0-7808-0768-6
  • List Price: $60.00
  • Sample Pages
  • Printable Information Sheet
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Prohibition began after the passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, distribution, or consumption of alcohol in the United States. Though romanticized when viewed through the glittering lens of the Roaring Twenties, Prohibition was a violent, contentious, and ultimately transformative time in American society. The culmination of decades of teetotaling protests and social and religious invective, Prohibition proved that it takes more than legislation to bring about fundamental change in the ways Americans live.

Defining Moments: Prohibition provides users with a detailed and authoritative overview of the era, as well as the principal figures involved in this pivotal event in U.S. history. It also explores the event’s lasting impact on America’s political and cultural landscape. The volume is organized into three distinct sections—Narrative Overview, Biographies and Primary Sources—which offer a one-stop resource for student research.

  • The Narrative Overview section provides a detailed, factual account of what led up to Prohibition, the events and issues during the era, and its legacy in American society
  • The Biographies section presents valuable biographical background on leading figures associated with Prohibition
  • The Primary Sources section collects a wide variety of pertinent primary source materials from the era, including official documents, song lyrics, memoirs, editorials, and other important works

Other notable features include a glossary of important people, places, and terms; a detailed chronology featuring page references to relevant sections of the narrative; an annotated listing of selected sources for further study; an extensive general bibliography; and a subject index.

Standard Features

  • Library binding, 7 1/4 x 9 1/4
  • 240 pages
  • 30-40 photographs and other illustrations
  • Narrative Overview section: Provides a detailed, factual account of the “defining moment”
  • Biographies section: Presents valuable biographical background on leading figures associated with the event
  • Primary Sources section: Collects a wide variety of pertinent primary source materials from the era
  • Research Topics: Proposes a list of topics suitable for conducting historical research and writing reports, a valuable starting point for student research
  • Source Attribution: Contains references for primary sources and other quoted material that guide users to other historical research resources
  • Glossary of Important People, Places, and Terms: Gives brief definitions for the many terms used in the book
  • Chronology: Highlights the related events in chronological order, along with “see” references that direct the reader to pages in the narrative with additional information
  • Sources for Further Study: Provides annotated citations for selected sources that are most useful to students
  • Bibliography: Lists books, periodicals, web sites, and videos consulted in preparing the volume
  • Subject Index: Includes people, places, organizations, events, and other topics

Research Topics

Each volume in the Defining Moments series covers a wide range of topics that students can use as starting points for further research. Potential research topics for Defining Moments: Prohibition are below:

  • Discuss the events leading up to Prohibition, including American social and religious attitudes about drinking
  • Explore the role of women in the temperance movement
  • Research the process of amending the Constitution and explain how the 18th Amendment was passed
  • Document the attitudes and activities that defined the Roaring Twenties
  • Pick one area where alcohol was smuggled into the U.S. or manufactured illegally in the U.S. and detail the process from start to finish
  • Summarize how Prohibition contributed to the growth of organized crime
  • Select one individual of special interest—one law-breaker or law-enforcer—and tell their story
  • Discuss the reasons why so many Americans continued to drink alcohol even after it was illegal
  • Evaluate the Prohibition Bureau and other law enforcement organizations and explain how corruption affected their work
  • Describe the political battles over the 18th Amendment (which launched Prohibition) and the 21st Amendment (which ended it)
  • Compare and contrast presidential attitudes toward Prohibition
  • Investigate the impact of Prohibition on public attitudes toward the U.S. political and legal systems


“This dense, hefty volume provides an in-depth historical analysis of the Prohibition era. … This is an important curriculum resource on the social and political history of an era.”

—Booklist, May ’05

“A well-balanced view of the historical, social, and political issues surrounding Prohibition. … This well-written title does an excellent job not only of telling the story of Prohibition, but also of giving readers a taste of the times and the people.”

—School Library Journal, Oct ’05

“Profusely illustrated with vintage photographs, this vibrant volume is sure to capture students’ interest.”

—School Library Journal, Curriculum Connections, Apr ’06

“Prohibition is a well-organized, balanced, and approachable reference source for its intended audience.”

—American Reference Books Annual, 2006