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Alcohol, Temperance & Prohibition

That legendary man of letters, Samuel Johnson, once opined that “Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult”. Over the centuries, many have shared at least part of Johnson’s sentiment as regards the temptations offered by spirits, and just as many have concerned themselves with the cause of cautioning others about alcohol and its potentially pernicious effects. The good people at Brown University have created this digital collection which includes a host of primary documents from the past several centuries, including broadsides, sheet music, and government publications. These items will be of great interest to anyone interested in the history of alcoholism, and how various forms of media were used to disseminate ideas and information about this phenomenon and the prohibition movement. Visitors can browse the collection by document creator, publisher, and general title. Another item of note here is the online essay “Temperance and Prohibition Era Propaganda: A Study in Rhetoric” by Leah Rae Berk.
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