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Prohibition (miniseries)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PBS Prohibition Miniseries logo.jpg
Written by Geoffrey C. Ward
Directed by Ken Burns / Lynn Novick
Narrated by Peter Coyote
Country of origin United States
Producer(s) Sarah Botstein / Lynn Novick / Ken Burns
Running time 5 1/2 hours
Production company(s) Florentine Films
Prohibition Film Project
Distributor PBS
Original release October 2 (2011-10-02) – October 4, 2011 (2011-10-04)

Prohibition is a 2011 documentary film for television directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick with narration by Peter Coyote. The series originally aired between October 2, 2011 and October 4, 2011.[1] It draws heavily from the 2010 book Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent.[2]


Prohibition describes how the consumption and effect of alcoholic beverages in the United States were connected to many different cultural forces including immigration, women's suffrage, and the income tax. Eventually the Temperance movement led to the passing of Prohibition, the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Widespread defiance of the law, uneven and unpopular enforcement, and violent crime associated with the illegal trade in alcohol caused increasing dissatisfaction with the amendment, eventually leading to its repeal thirteen years later.


  1. "A Nation of Drunkards" (1 hr 34 min) describes how immigration, alcoholism, women's suffrage and the temperance movements led up to the passing of the 18th Amendment, Prohibition.
  2. "A Nation of Scofflaws" (1 hr 50 min) addresses how the enforcement of Prohibition was inconsistent and caused unintended consequences, including making criminals of a large portion of the population.
  3. "A Nation of Hypocrites" (1 hr 45 min) follows the gradual swing towards repeal of Prohibition as the Great Depression focuses attention on other priorities.[3]


Voice actors

Interviewed consultants


  • "You can hear history talking directly to the Americans of 2011 all through 'Prohibition,' an absorbing five-and-a-half-hour documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick ... Especially now, the story of America's disastrous experiment with banning alcoholic beverages seems made for Santayana's phrase about learning from the past or being condemned to repeat it." – Neil Genzlinger, New York Times[4]
  • "Burns has the similar gift of that rare history professor who can captivate even the most reluctant student by bringing the material to life." – Hank Stuever, Washington Post[5]
  • "Prohibition provides a very fine analytic survey of the noble experiment." – Troy Patterson, Slate[6]


  1. ^ List of episodes on IMDb
  2. ^ "A long and sober look at Prohibition history", Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2011
  3. ^ "Prohibition: Episode Guide". PBS.
  4. ^ "Bellying Up to the Time When America Went Dry", Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, September 30, 2011
  5. ^ "Ken Burns takes a sip of 'Prohibition'", Hank Stuever, Washington Post, September 29, 2011
  6. ^ "Prohibition: A fascinating Ken Burns series about the noble experiment", Troy Patterson, Slate, September 30, 2011

External links

This page was last edited on 29 June 2018, at 22:20
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