” When the first American tax on distilled spirits was established in 1791, violence broke out in Pennsylvania. The resulting Whiskey Rebellion sent hundreds of families down the Ohio River by flatboat, stills on board, to settle anew in the fertile bottomlands of Kentucky. Here they used cold limestone spring water to make bourbon and found that corn produced even better yields of whiskey than rye. Thus, the licit and illicit branches of the distilling industry grew up side by side in the state. This is the story of the illicit side―the moonshiners’ craft and craftsmanship, as practiced in Kentucky. A glossary of moonshiner argot sheds light on such colorful terms as “puker,” “slop,” and “weed-monkey.” David Maurer’s tone is tongue-in-cheek, but he provides a realistic look at the Kentucky moonshiner and the moonshining industry.
About the Author
The late David M. Maurer was professor of English at the University of Louisville. He was also the author of The Big Con: The Story of the American Confidence Man.
Well written and referenced. This text gives a clear and concise picture of moonshine culture, though I would like to seem some more specifics, particularly insight and perhaps ethnographic perspectives into some of the historical figures and their families then and now. What were the conflicts that existed between moonshiners in the same geographic areas? How did their families cope with the lifestyle? What about now? Do their decedents embrace their past or wish it to fade away? I realize this is well outside the scope of the text, but I mention it as perhaps the next logical step for another writer (or perhaps Maurer).
Purchased this book after a tour of Mammoth Cave country in southern Kentucky, and learning many farmers used caves to hide their moonshine production and storage from tax collectors and police back in the day. Interesting to read how moonshine played a role in my home state’s history! The book is well written, and a quick, enjoyable read. Recommend for history buffs.
- Title: Kentucky Moonshine
- Autor: David W. Maurer
- Publisher (Publication Date): University Press of Kentucky; Revised ed. edition (March 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: | 0813190541
- ISBN-13: | 978-0813190549
- Download File Format: EPUB, PDF