The Prohibition Era combines two of my favorite topics: the Fourth Amendment and beer. The latter was banned, and the former was routinely litigated for the first time in American history. As a result, I was a natural audience member for the new Ken Burns’s series Prohibition, which began last night. The series is loosely based on Daniel Okrent’s book Last Call. Based on the first episode, though, the TV series is much easier to follow than the book: When I tried reading the book a few months ago, I found it in need of an an editor who could link the pieces together in a coherent way. But the TV version is excellent so far. The story is well told, and the pictures and video (even with awkwardly filled-in artificial sound) add a lot.
You can watch the first episode in its entirety here. Enjoy.