Moonshine: A Global History

Author(s): Kevin R. Kosar


No matter where you go on earth, there is moonshine. It has been made from just about every imaginable foodstuff: grapes, grain, raw sugar, tree bark, horse milk and more. College students in the developed world drink it; so do day labourers in the world's poorest slums and villages. All moonshine has two characteristics: it is highly alcoholic, and it is illegal. Kevin R. Kosar tells the colourful history of moonshine with characters that range from crusading lawmen, earnest farmers and clever tinkerers, to vicious smugglers and ruthless gangsters; from pontificating poets and sneaky swamp-rats, to adolescents looking for a thrill.


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“A vibrant and entertaining new study of moonshine’s 600-year history . . . Kosar, an authority on booze and a director of alcohol policy at the R Street Institute in Washington, DC, discusses this aspect of his subject with pace, learning, insight, and good sense. He is convincing when he argues that ‘the more a government’s policies reduce access to affordable, safe, licit alcoholic drinks, the more it encourages the production of cheap, dangerous, illicit booze.’ And he is arresting when he links the production of moonshine to moments of political resistance. . . . But the book is at its most grimly arresting when Koshar describes the pernicious effects of the drink, and the extremes to which people will go to create and consume it.”

- Irish Times   (JC BookGrocer)

Kevin R. Kosar is the author of Whiskey: A Global History (Reaktion, 2010). He lives in Washington, DC.

General Fields

  • : 9781780237428
  • : Reaktion Books
  • : Reaktion Books
  • : 0.34
  • : April 2017
  • : 197mm X 120mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : April 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Kevin R. Kosar
  • : Hardback
  • : 364.1332
  • : 176
  • : 60 illustrations, 40 in colour