The prohibition of liquor in the United States from 1920 to 1933 created the myth of the flapper and gangster. Andrew Sinclair's account was the first comprehensive study and it shows how this extraordinary experiment was the product of the age-old conflict of country against city, of the God-fearing farmer against the corrupt urban rich and the new immigrants with their imported religions and beer. Prohibition represented the last attempt of rural America to stem the tide of history that was transforming the country from an agricultural to an industrial nations. It stood for tradition and the old American way of life. Its defeat was tragedy as well as a comedy. The lessons of such an attempt at social control are relevant to all societies, old and new. 'This is a definitive biography of an era; a social history, comprehensive, detailed, documented, and well written' - Arthur Weinberg, "Chicago Tribune". 'Here is a work of real social history, at once scholarly and entertaining, thoughtful, penetrating and analytical' - John A. Garraty, "The New Leader".