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The Void Where Prohibited

Saloons, St. Louis and scandal


From 1920 to 1933, the United States was legally a dry country, thanks to Prohibition. The reality of life during "the great experiment" is uncovered in Robbi Courtaway's new book, Wetter Than the Mississippi: Prohibition in St. Louis and Beyond, and as the title implies, Prohibition didn't always mean dry. Wetter Than the Mississippi details previously untold stories of the unprecedented power wielded by gangsters in control of a newly illegal industry and also explores how average St. Louisans circumvented the law in order to get their drink on. Think "flasks" and "riverboats," as well as less-obvious methods, such as home breweries and amateur distilleries. Courtaway signs copies from 1 to 3 p.m. today at the St. Louis Genealogical Society (4 Sunnen Drive, Maplewood; 314-843-7850). The event is free. For more information visit
Wed., Dec. 10, 2008