In the midst of the First World War concern arose as to the virtues of pursuing intoxication at a time of national emergency. As the military front was supposedly let down by drinkers and shirkers at home, attention quickly turned to British drinking practices. Britain, it seemed, was under the duress of a widespread addiction to boozing. When prohibition was deemed too extreme to contemplate, and nationalisation too impractical, the government created an organisation known as the Central Control Board (CCB). This body soon set about reforming the drinking habits of a nation. Loved by a few, but disliked by most, this group was responsible for the most radical and unique experiment in alcohol control ever conducted in Britain. The story of the CCB, how and why it was formed, its history and its legacy upon the British war effort are told within Pubs and Patriots: The Drink Crisis in Britain during World War One.
1. First book to solely focus on the drink problem in Britain during the First World War. 2. Describes a unique governmental experiment in the control of drink which is widely recognised as needing a monograph study. 3. Uses new, original and extensive primary research. 4. Considers the control of drink by the Central Control Board but also fits the story into the broader history of the First World War. 5. Illustrated with rarely seen cartoons from the period.
One feels certain that comprehensive, richly detailed, and tightly focused works such as Duncan’s Pubs and Patriots will one day enable somebody to accomplish that long awaited feat.
Peter Hynd, Histoire sociale / Social History
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