The Social History of Alcohol

History 196.S03

Spring 1998

(Tuesday, 3:50-6:20, Social Sciences 232)

 

Dr. James S. Roberts

Dr. Keith A. Zahniser

303J Allen Building

330 Carr Bldg.

684-3501 (Office)

684-5407 (Office)

490-1558 (Home)

383-4269 (Home)

James.Roberts@duke.edu

zahniser@acpub.duke.edu

Office Hours: Thursdays

Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:00-3:00,

4:00-5:00 (appointments encouraged)

and by appointment

 

 

 

 Course Readings, by week

 Course Requirements and Grading

Course Description, Objectives and Requirements

 

In this course we will explore the social history of alcohol production, consumption and control in Western societies from the 18th century to the present. We will investigate the changing relationship of alcohol to aspects of everyday life in these societies, as well as to broader economic, political, religious, and cultural developments. Throughout the course we will examine attempts to control or promote alcohol consumption within the context of a broader history of social reform, and trace the ways in which the "liquor question" became wrapped up in conflicts over gender roles, ethnicity, immigration, labor struggles, class antagonism, and the power of science. A major premise of the course is that the systematic study of the social history of alcohol can deepen our understanding both of Western society’s traditional drug of preference and of the forces that have shaped the modern world. It should be understood, then, that this course is at least as much about modern social history as about alcohol. Because this course is a seminar organized primarily for junior and senior history majors, there will be a strong focus on original historical research in primary sources, and on writing.

  The basic objectives of the course are as follows:

1) To develop a sense of the significant historical dimensions of everyday experiences. 

2) To increase understanding of the dynamics and tensions driving Western societies since the 18th century.

  3) To foster an appreciation of the complexities and ambiguities inherent in humankind’s ambivalent relationship with alcoholic beverages. 

4) To provide a thorough familiarity with the processes and methodologies of historical thinking, research, and writing, and practice in the exploration and interpretation of primary historical documents.

 

The course will be conducted as a seminar, with an emphasis on discussion of assigned readings. There will be no formal lectures. The seminar format puts a great deal of responsibility for the course’s success on the students’ shoulders. Students will be expected to: 

* come to class prepared to discuss (i.e., question, quarrel with, and/or defend) both the assigned readings and the views of other members of the class, including the instructor.

* take responsibility for the discussion agenda of a particular reading in three class meetings.

* write three short (3-4 page) position papers on the readings at intervals throughout the semester.

* complete a research paper of 15-20 pages based largely on primary sources and present the results of that research to the class. 

Grading will be based approximately on the following factors: 

1) Participation in class discussions (30%)

  2) Position papers (10% each) (30%)

  3) Final Research Paper and presentation (40%)

 

A preliminary report on your research topic (including an outline and bibliography) will be due March 31; final papers are due by 5:00 p.m. on May 5th. 

A detailed course outline with reading assignments follows. The following required books are available in the Textbook department of the Duke University Store. All materials, both books and article readings, will be available on reserve in Perkins Library, and article and chapter readings will be available over the web through the library’s web site.

 

The course web site will be located at http://www.duke.edu/web/hst196s-03/, and will be used to post each week’s discussion questions, provide links to other alcohol-related web sites, and serve as a common forum for interchange on course material. 

 

Syllabus

 

 Readings for:

January 20

January 27

February 3

February 10

February 17

February 24

March 3

March 10

March 17

March 24

March 31

April 7

April 14

April 21

April 28

May 5

 

Part I: What is the Social History of Alcohol? Preliminary Questions on the Uses, Meanings, and Consequences of Alcohol Consumption

* = article/chapter on reserve at Perkins and available online.

+ = book available at Duke University textbook store.

# = book available on reserve at Perkins

 

January 20: 

Organization and Overview. 

* Kessler-Harris, Alice. "Social History." in Eric Foner, ed., The New American History (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990), 163-83.

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January 27: 

Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Drinking: 

* Roueche, Berton. The Neutral Spirit: A Portrait of Alcohol. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1960, 3-43. 

* Roberts, James S. Drink, Temperance and the Working Class in Nineteenth Century Germany. Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1984, 1-10.

  * MacAndrew, Craig, and Robert B. Edgerton. Drunken Comportment: A Social Explanation. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co., 1969, 1-12; 83-164. 

* Burnham, John C. Bad Habits: Drinking, Smoking, Taking Drugs, Gambling, Sexual Misbehavior, and Swearing in American History. New York: NYU Press, 1993, Chaps. 1 - 3, pp. 1-85. 

* Klein, Richard. Cigarettes are Sublime. Durham: Duke University Press, 1993, preface, introduction, & conclusion; ix-22, 181-93.

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February 3:  

Alcohol in Historical and Medical Context: 

+ Schivelbusch, Wolfgang. Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, & Intoxicants. New York: Random House, Inc., 1993, Chapters 1-2, 4-8; 3-84; 96-226. 

+ Braun, Stephen. Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine. New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 3-106 [the second half of the book, on caffeine, is optional reading].

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 Part II: Case Studies in the Social History of Alcohol

 February 10:

  Alcohol and Everyday Life -- Diet, Work, Leisure, and Conflict: 

1) Diet: 

* Rorabaugh, William J. The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, chapter 4, 95-122. 

* Dingle, A.E. "Drink and Working-Class Living Standards in Britain, 1870-1914." Economic History Review 25 (1972): 608-622. 

* Roberts, James S. "Drink and Working Class Living Standards in Late 19th Century Germany." U. Engelhardt, ed., Arbeiterexistenz im 19. Jahrhundert. Stuttgart, 1981, 74-91.

 2) Work: 

* Thompson, E.P. "Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism." Past and Present 38 (1967): 56-97. 

* Roberts, James S. "Drink and Industrial Work Discipline in 19th Century Germany." Journal of Social History 15 (1981): 25-38. 

 

3) Alcohol and Everyday Life -- Sociability, Solidarity and Conflict 

* Rosenzweig, Roy. "The Rise of the Saloon," in Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, 35-64.

  * Roberts, James S. "The Tavern and Politics in the German Labor Movement." in Barrows, Susanna, and Robin Room, eds. Drinking: Behavior & Belief in Modern History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990, 98-111.

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Part III: The Uses of Sobriety -- Temperance Reforms in Social and Cultural Context 

February 17:  

1) The Origins and Promise of Temperance Reform 

# Blocker, Jack S., Jr. American Temperance Movements: Cycles of Reform. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989, 1-29. 

* Rush, Benjamin. "An Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirits Upon the Human Body and Mind." Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol 4 (1943) (reprint of 1786 article with introduction by Mark Cellar): 321-341.

  * Johnson, Paul E. A Shopkeeper's Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837. New York: Hill & Wang, 1978, Introduction and Chapter 2, "Society," pp. 3-14; 37-61. 

* Roberts, James S. "Volkserhebung wider den Branntwein: The Early German Temperance Movement," in Drink, Temperance and the Working Class in Nineteenth Century Germany. Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1984, 11-32. 

* Levine, H.G. "The Discovery of Addiction: Changing Conceptions of Habitual Drunkenness in America." Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol 39 (1978), 143-74. 

2) The Social Meaning of Temperance Activism

  * Barrows, Susanna. "After the Commune: Alcoholism, Temperance, and Literature in the Early Third Republic." Consciousness and Class Experience in 19th Century Europe. Ed. J.M. Merriman. New York: Homes and Meier, 1979, 205-18. 

* Roberts, James S. "Decline and Renewal: 1848 and Beyond," in Drink, Temperance and the Working Class in Nineteenth Century Germany. Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1984, 33-54. 

* Rosenzweig, Roy. "The Struggle over the Saloon, 1870-1910," in Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, 93-126.

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February 24:

  The Social Meaning of Temperance Reform: The Role of Women 

# Blocker, Jack S. Jr. American Temperance Movements: Cycles of Reform. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989, 60-94. 

+ Bordin, Ruth. Women and Temperance: The Quest for Power and Liberty. Rutgers, 1991. 

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March 3:

 1) The Social Meaning of Temperance Activism: The Self-Help Tradition 

# Blocker, Jack S. Jr. American Temperance Movements: Cycles of Reform. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989, 30-60. 

* Tyrrell, Ian. "The Washingtonians: Artisans and Alcohol," ch. 7 in Sobering Up: From Temperance to Prohibition in Antebellum America, 1800-1860. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979, 159-90. 

* Herd, D. "The Paradox of Temperance: Blacks and the Alcohol Question in Nineteenth Century America," in Barrows, Susanna, and Robin Room, eds. Drinking: Behavior & Belief in Modern History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990, 354-375.

  * Roberts, James S. "German Social Democracy and the Drink Question," ch. 5 in Drink, Temperance and the Working Class in Nineteenth Century Germany. Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1984, 83-108. 

2) The Progressive Tradition

  * Rumbarger, John J. Profits, Power, and Prohibition: Alcohol Reform and the Industrializing of America, 1800-1930. Albany: SUNY Press, 1989, xvii-xxv; 109-151. 

* Roberts, James S. "The German Association for the Prevention of Alcohol Abuse," ch. 4 in Drink, Temperance and the Working Class in Nineteenth Century Germany. Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1984, 55-82.

  * Levine, H.G. "The Committee of Fifty and the Origins of Alcohol Control." Journal of Drug Issues (1983): 95-116. 

* Boyer, Paul. Urban Masses and Moral Order in America, 1820-1920. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978, Chapters 13 & 14, 189-219. 

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March 10:  

Primary Source Research and Interpretation: The Case of Pittsburgh 

* Verhey, Jeffrey, "Sources for the Social History of Alcohol," in Barrows, Susanna, and Robin Room, eds. Drinking: Behavior & Belief in Modern History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990, 425-39.

  # Blocker, Jack S., Jr. American Temperance Movements: Cycles of Reform. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989, 190-93.

  Perkins Library Bibliographic Materials (Handout) 

Miscellaneous Documents from Pittsburgh (Handout)

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March 17:

 

Spring Break

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March 24:

 

American Prohibition and Its Legacy

  # Blocker, Jack S. Jr. American Temperance Movements: Cycles of Reform. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989, 95-129. 

+ Behr, Edward. Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America. New York: Arcade Publishing, 1996.

  * Kyvig, David E., " Sober Thoughts: Myths and Realities of National Prohibition after Fifty Years," in Kyvig, ed. Law, Alcohol, and Order: Perspectives on National Prohibition. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985, 3-20. 

* Burnham, John C. "New Perspectives on the Prohibition 'Experiment' of the 1920's." Journal of Social History 2 (1968): 51-68. 

Video Screening -- "Demon Rum"

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March 31:

 

Exporting Morality and Dependency: Alcohol and the Expansion of American Influence 

* Rorabaugh, William J. The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, 61-69. 

* Mancall, Peter C. Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995, chapters 2, 7 and "epilogue," pp. 29-61; 155-180.  

* Unrau, William E. White Man’s Wicked Water: The Alcohol Trade and Prohibition in Indian Country, 1802-1892. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, chapter 4 and "epilogue," pp. 40-59;117-124. 

* Tyrrell, Ian. "Prohibition, American Cultural Expansion, and the New Hegemony in the 1920s: An Interpretation." Histoire Sociale/Social History 27:54 (1994): 413-445. 

* Tyrrell, Ian. Woman’s World, Woman’s Empire: The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in International Perspective, 1880-1930. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991, chapters 1-3, 5, 7; pp. 1-61; 81-113; 146-169.  

** Paper Outlines and Bibliographies Due **

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 April 7: 

 

The Contemporary Context and Current Controversies 

# Blocker, Jack S. Jr. American Temperance Movements: Cycles of Reform. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989, 130-61. 

* Levine, H.G. "The Birth of American Alcohol Control: Prohibition, the Power Elite and the Problem of Lawlessness." Contemporary Drug Problems (1985): 63-115. 

+ Fingarette, Herbert. Heavy Drinking: The Myth of Alcoholism As a Disease. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.

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April 14:  

Drinking Stories 

* "Bill’s Story," in Alcoholics Anonymous (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 1976), pp. 1-16. 

Andrews, Coleman. "Getting Drunk." [handout] 

* Percy, Walker. "Bourbon," in Percy, Signposts in a Strange Land. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991, 102-107. 

+ Braun, Stephen. Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine. New York: Penguin Books, 1996, "Postscript," 193-195. 

Read either of the following: 

+ Hamill, Pete. A Drinking Life. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1994. 

+ Knapp, Caroline. Drinking: A Love Story. New York: Delta, 1996. 

Course Wrap-up

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 April 21: 

Research Reports

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 April 28: 

Research Reports

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 May 5:

  Final Paper Due by 5:00 p.m., 303J Allen Building

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