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Chesapeake Rumrunners of the Roaring Twenties

von Eric Mills

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512,325,027 (2.5)3
When Prohibition was the law, Chesapeake Bay was a smuggler's paradise. Rogues of all types transported boatloads of forbidden liquor in the days when America experimented with forced, and unforeseeable, temperance. In a style reminiscent of the era it describes, Eric Mills brings to life the world of mobster and preacher, rumrunner and revenue man, moonshine and "real McCoy." It was a whiskey-soaked age that was supposed to be dry. Prohibition may have been the law of the land, but the Chesapeake Bay country was awash in illegal alcohol. The marshes were teeming with hidden stills, and bootleg liquor was smuggled throughout the waterways and adjoining countryside by daring men in fast boats and faster cars. Chesapeake Rumrunners of the Roaring Twenties is a saga of people--watermen and steamer captains, mob racketeers and "legitimate" businessmen--all of them wanting part of the action. In the maze of bay waters, boats played a key role in that action, many disguised as workboats but built for speed and the ability to outmaneuver the law. On the other side, Billy Sunday and an army of temperance crusaders campaigned tirelessly to encourage Prohibition, while federal agents and Coast Guardsmen shared the impossible task of enforcing it. Using a mix of news reports, government records, and local lore, the author has written a fascinating account of a memorable chapter in Chesapeake history.… (mehr)
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Prohibition was not popular in many areas of the nation when it took affect in the 1920s. Some government officials refused to even enforce the law and others openly disobeyed. Moonshine became a growing business all along the Eastern seacoast and the Delmarva peninsula with all its inlets and coves, kept the revenue hunters and Coast Guard on their toes trying to stop the illegal importation of alcohol.

I found this book entertaining for several reasons - the bootleggers seem to be a whole smarter than the government agents (has that changed at all?), many of the areas that were mentioned near and around Baltimore I have actually seen having grown up in the area, and my mother actually grew up in this era and talked of her relatives that were involved in the Prohibition era activities so I really hit home. The stories aren't those that we normally hear, so it gave some good background information though at times it was a bit too detailed. ( )
  cyderry | Jun 2, 2016 |
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When Prohibition was the law, Chesapeake Bay was a smuggler's paradise. Rogues of all types transported boatloads of forbidden liquor in the days when America experimented with forced, and unforeseeable, temperance. In a style reminiscent of the era it describes, Eric Mills brings to life the world of mobster and preacher, rumrunner and revenue man, moonshine and "real McCoy." It was a whiskey-soaked age that was supposed to be dry. Prohibition may have been the law of the land, but the Chesapeake Bay country was awash in illegal alcohol. The marshes were teeming with hidden stills, and bootleg liquor was smuggled throughout the waterways and adjoining countryside by daring men in fast boats and faster cars. Chesapeake Rumrunners of the Roaring Twenties is a saga of people--watermen and steamer captains, mob racketeers and "legitimate" businessmen--all of them wanting part of the action. In the maze of bay waters, boats played a key role in that action, many disguised as workboats but built for speed and the ability to outmaneuver the law. On the other side, Billy Sunday and an army of temperance crusaders campaigned tirelessly to encourage Prohibition, while federal agents and Coast Guardsmen shared the impossible task of enforcing it. Using a mix of news reports, government records, and local lore, the author has written a fascinating account of a memorable chapter in Chesapeake history.

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