Prohibition: The Misunderstood Reform

Prohibition: The Misunderstood Reform

TICKET UPDATE: As of 11/7, the in-person program is sold out. Please check back periodically as any cancellations are processed. There is still plenty of space to attend online via Zoom. Thank you!

On Thursday, November 9, join LancasterHistory as we welcome Villanova University’s Dr. Mark Schrad who will discuss the reality of temperance as a broad-based progressive movement linked to fights for the abolition of slavery, suffrage for women, and public health.

The 18th Amendment and national prohibition is typically attributed to a uniquely American temperance movement, composed of conservative, puritanical zealots intent on legislating what one can and cannot drink. In reality, temperance was a broad-based and progressive international movement against the predatory “liquor traffic” that subordinated public health and well-being to the pursuit of private profit. Placing the American temperance experience in proper international context lays bare the shortcomings of conventional wisdom about prohibition, and delivers a more nuanced understanding of social movements in both American and world history. This talk will give global context to our new exhibit’s discussion of prohibition in Lancaster County.

Image of Dr. Mark Schrad on the left. Book cover image of "Smashing the Liquor Machine" on the right.
Presenter Dr. Mark Schrad (left).

Dr. Mark Schrad is a Professor of Political Science and Director of Russian Area Studies at Villanova University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of three books with Oxford University Press, including Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State (2014), which has been translated into a half-dozen world languages. His most recent book, Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition has been awarded a coveted Kirkus starred review, and is the winner of the Francesco Guicciardini Prize for the Best Book in Historical International Relations from the International Studies Association.


This event is expected to take place in person at LancasterHistory on Thursday, November 9, 2023. Doors open and the reception begins at 5pm. The lecture will begin at 5:30pm. The lecture will also be streamed to Zoom at 5:30pm for those who wish to join us virtually. Copies of Smashing the Liquor Machine will be available for sale in the Museum Store while supplies last. Dr. Schrad will be available to sign copies of his book starting at 5pm.

This program is free and open to the public. In-person attendance requires advance registration in order to guarantee a seat. Due to capacity restrictions, tickets may not be available at the door. Virtual attendance requires advance registration in order to receive the Zoom link. Register online by clicking the appropriate link below or by calling (717) 392-4633. Registration will close online on Thursday, November 9 at 5:30pm. The online version of this program will also be recorded and uploaded to LancasterHistory’s YouTube channel after the event.



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Book Signing In-Person Event Lecture Online/Virtual Event Reception

November 9, 2023 At LancasterHistory & Online via Zoom 5PM Reception | 5:30PM Lecture FREE | Registration Required