Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Over the years there have been many calls upon congress by one group of Americans -- another.
For constitutional amendments that would impose their version of morality on the rest of their fellow citizens.
All have been defeated and at least in part because the memory of prohibition.
That's incredible stuff that is a quick look can.
At the new documentary from Ken currency famed filmmaker director called prohibition and -- -- here are thrilled to have him here in our in our studio to talk more about this we -- spend all day today talking about baseball with a tremendously yeah.
After what happened last night but this sounds great to tell us about it well it's.
It's an amazing story you know we think of it is gangsters and you know flapper is dancing on speaking easy tables and we've got all of that it's a sexy and instead.
Dangerous and it's an entertaining film.
But it's an even more interesting story about how it came to be this is the only amendment to the constitution that restricted human freedom all amendments have been about.
Expanding human -- -- this restricted it silly when thank goodness that was repealed.
But it was the original culture war this is a story.
A single issue political campaigns that metastasized with those unintended consequences this is the story of the demonization of recent immigrants to the United States.
This is the story of smear campaigns during presidential election cycles and the sort of degradation of our political discourse is about a whole group of people.
Who feel like they've lost control of their country and want to take it back by imposing.
Prohibition on somebody else they were fearful.
Of the new Catholics coming into it to the big cities of Jews of newly freed African Americans and well drinking was a big social problem in the nineteenth century.
And the original impulse was to try to help the drinkers.
It was hijacked by folks who wanted it to be prohibition for somebody with support for the eighteenth amendment though with widespread it was not have it with women.
Who were in favor of -- it was.
Black churches yet a week it was it was an amazing thing He was an essentially conservative -- the anti saloon league I don't know why we don't know about it.
Wayne Wheeler who -- -- General Counsel the anti saloon league was the single most effective lobbying organization in the history of the United States I mean they make the NRA look like they were needed lesson to.
And they were able to push this through but they force unusual coalitions is the Ku Klux Klan was for it they didn't wanna see a black man with a bottle -- one hand and a ballot in the other.
The NAACP was for it because it was about black advancement.
The wobbly is the radical workers are for -- because they thought alcohol was a working man's plot.
Against the ready I mean plot by the industrials against the working man and the industrialists were fort because it cut into production.
Progressives were for it.
And then they woke up thinking -- I'll be able to have my beer in my -- is just getting renovated saloon.
And the law was so draconian.
And an anti saloon league still affected.
That they woke up and suddenly they went.
Wow this is fascinating and on so many levels which I'm sure -- why so many people are gonna wanna watch -- one of them is the application to today that you were talking about a moment ago I thought we come in here and say well.
You know you could apply this to the debate over whether or not we should legalize drugs and marijuana or something but I'm much more -- It's much deeper than that I mean and it it reflects us as we fine you know human nature.
Is always the same people say -- cycles -- history we're doomed to repeat it.
I don't believe any of that human nature is the same and we are both.
Generous and -- We're both sincere and hypocritical were puree -- And we're puritans were Saturday night and we're Sunday morning and that's the story.
Of you know and it's not just between groups of such as red state or blue state divisions it's within people you find the same hypocrisy is.
-- you know somebody railing of against this and it turns out they're doing it to.
And so we find that in our lives I think prohibition histories a table around which we can still have a conversation.
That's measured you know I don't know anybody does like Abraham Lincoln so is meant that we left or right -- center in come around and talk about American history and perhaps seen the ways in which.
It is a -- strangely enough of where we are today.
And that if we can feel that our problems are intractable today we might find the solution.
In our past and in the examples of getting through tough times -- so focusing just on that that.
Thirteen year period from 1920 to 33 how our culture change totaling prohibition was shocking in terms of the way women dressed and carried themselves in terms of music.
You can you imagine being the grandmother in the mother who had labored for decades to push through the prohibition amendment.
To wake up to find your daughter with Bob hair short skirt no -- -- dancing on a table of a speak easy.
I mean this was your worst nightmare.
It was the unintended consequences of this this was the roaring twenties the jazz age everything was going this -- booming stock market.
You know real estate bubble.
This new musical jazz everybody can now afford a car.
Women's liberation winners I grand mothers and -- great grandmothers were having premarital sex whether we want to admit it or think about it.
Bad at all and it is an amazing story and going the opposite directions are these gold saying.
Do not do what human beings have done since there have been human beings part of their religious part of their social part of their personal rituals which is to have a drink.
Well you've given is you've got a couple things you've you've given us some disturbing images there a moment ago -- you have about -- yeah what's the ultimate wanna -- -- documents I hope you I'm very excited about it and I I think it it appeals to people.
You know it isn't just Al Capone.
I don't millions upon millions of people were breaking the law that every day you have -- about upon current -- it's a great story I don't get me wrong I love that stuff I love the slackers but I think the deeper dive is what's gonna be interesting.
The way in which prohibition reveals ourselves.
Into ourselves and in an interesting way Sunday night from mayor's five and a half hours three parts prohibition and Barr thank you thank you so it's -- -- say please give an idea I will come back latest -- -- -- talk baseball the and a lot of --
Filter by section