The story of the American activist struggle against the influence of alcohol, climaxing in the failed early 20th century nationwide era when it was banned.
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1  
2011  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Narrator (3 episodes, 2011)
Pete Hamill ...
 Himself - Writer (3 episodes, 2011)
Catherine Gilbert Murdock ...
 Herself - Historian (3 episodes, 2011)
Michael Lerner ...
 Himself - Historian (3 episodes, 2011)
...
 Himself - Writer (3 episodes, 2011)
Noah Feldman ...
 Himself - Legal Scholar (3 episodes, 2011)
Jack Roche ...
 Himself - Resident of Chicago (3 episodes, 2011)
William Leuchtenburg ...
 Himself - Historian (3 episodes, 2011)
...
 Reader / ... (3 episodes, 2011)
...
 Reader / ... (3 episodes, 2011)
...
 Reader (3 episodes, 2011)
...
 Reader (3 episodes, 2011)
John Paul Stevens ...
 Himself - Resident of Chicago (2 episodes, 2011)
Jonathan Eig ...
 Himself - Writer (2 episodes, 2011)
Margot Loines Wilkie ...
 Herself - Resident of Massachusetts (2 episodes, 2011)
Martin Marty ...
 Himself - Theologian (2 episodes, 2011)
Jack Clarke ...
 Himself - Resident of Chicago (2 episodes, 2011)
Ruth Proskauer Smith ...
 Herself - Resident of New York (2 episodes, 2011)
Edwin T. Hunt Jr. ...
 Himself - Resident of Seattle / ... (2 episodes, 2011)
Joshua Zeitz ...
 Himself - Historian (2 episodes, 2011)
...
 Reader (2 episodes, 2011)
Kevin Conway ...
 Reader (2 episodes, 2011)
...
 Reader (2 episodes, 2011)
...
 Reader (2 episodes, 2011)
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Storyline

Throughout American history, heavy alcohol consumption has been a pervasive part of its national social character. However in the 1800s, a growing Temperance movement arose determined to oppose the destructive habit by any means necessary. This series tells the story of this crusade until it achieved its ultimate goal of passing the 18th Amendment of the US Constitution which imposed prohibition. After that victory, the series covers this social reform's disastrous unintended consequences that encouraged clandestine drinking and organized crime while undermining civil liberties and society's respect for the law in ways that still reverberate today. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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How did a nation founded on rights ever go so wrong?


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Release Date:

2 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Förbudstiden i USA  »

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16:9 HD
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Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.20 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
solid doc from Burns
22 January 2017 | by See all my reviews

Documentarian Ken Burns creates a three-part five and a half hour series on the subject of prohibition. The first part sets up the alcohol culture and the rise of the temperance movements which coincided with women's suffrage. The fight for prohibition takes on the anti-immigrant sentiment. This part is the most fascinating for me and where I learned the most. The other two parts handle the enforcement and eventual repeal. Those parts are done by everybody who does gangsters and booze running. There are still some fun new tidbits but this documentary series feels front-loaded. This certainly has the Ken Burns style and his attention to good story telling. He continues to be a great asset to any history class in America.


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