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Extended Audio Sample Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, by Daniel Okrent Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,675 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daniel Okrent Narrator: Daniel Okrent Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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America’s obsession with its own history has resulted in innumerable bestsellers. Like baseball and the Civil War, Prohibition is one of the grand American topics, and now it is the subject of Daniel Okrent’s masterful, prize-worthy tour de force.

Last Call is a narrative history of one of the most puzzling and most exciting eras in American history, the years 1920 to 1933, when the Constitution was amended to restrict human social behavior. Beginning with the liquor-soaked country that the US was in the nineteenth century, Last Call explains three things: how Prohibition happened, what life under Prohibition was like, and what it did to the country. Last Call, peopled with vivid characters of an astonishing variety (Susan B. Anthony and Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan and Sam Bronfman, Pierre du Pont and H. L. Mencken, Meyer Lansky and Clarence Darrow) and jammed with stories from nearly all parts of the country, reveals this strange chapter in our history as never before.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Daniel Okrent's Last Call is filled with delightful details, colorful characters, and fascinating social insights. And what a great tale! Prohibition may not have been a lot of fun, but this book sure is.”

    Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs

  • “A triumph. Okrent brilliantly captures the one glaring 'whoops!' in our Constitutional history. This entertaining portrait should stimulate fresh thought on the capacity and purpose of free government.”

    Taylor Branch, author of the Pulizer Prize winning  Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954–1963

  • “This is history served the way one likes it, with scholarly authority and literary grace. Last Call is a fascinating portrait of an era and a very entertaining tale.”

    Tracy Kidder, author of Strength in What Remains

  • “This is a marvelous and lively social history, one that manages to be both scholarly and exciting. Okrent takes us through a period of American history unlike any other. Fair-minded, insightful, and amused, he has a command of the material that makes the journey rewarding at every sober step of the way. I loved this book.”

    Lawrence Wright, author, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

  • “Daniel Okrent's Last Call fills a gaping void in American popular history that has been waiting for years to be filled, by providing a clear, sweeping, detailed and immensely readable account of Prohibition. His book is full of lively stories, incredible characters and fascinating research. It is, at once, great fun to read and solid history, a rare combination.”

    Michael Korda, author of Ulysses S. Grant,Ike, and With Wings Like Eagles

  • Last Call is—I can't help it—a high, an upper, a delicious cocktail of a book, served with a twist or two and plenty of punch.” 


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An ALA Notable Book
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kathryn | 2/11/2014

    " I expected a light, fun history book, and this book delivered for about the first third. The rest of the book was slow-- full of names and dates and not much story. Very informative and interesting in political terms, but more in the vein of a textbook than a narrative history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Barbara Wilson | 2/2/2014

    " This is the first non-fiction book that I have literally not been able to put down. Okrent's thorough description of the various factions and politics involved in shaping the prohibition debate and the passage and repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment is compelling. Particularly, in this contentious election year, the story is relevant and worthy of public discussion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jedrek Kostecki | 1/30/2014

    " An amazing view of the rise and fall of the prohibition movement, especially it's political causes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Reed | 1/30/2014

    " Easily one of the best historical accounts I've ever read. If you've ever wondered how something like Prohibition could have happened during a time when Americans *loved* alcohol you will enjoy this book. The writing is superb and the amount of research that when into the book is astounding. "

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