We Are What We Drink

We Are What We Drink : The Temperance Battle in Minnesota

4.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


Sabine N. Meyer eschews the generalities of other temperance histories to provide a close-grained story about the connections between alcohol consumption and identity in the upper Midwest. Meyer examines the ever-shifting ways that ethnicity, gender, class, religion, and place interacted with each other during the long temperance battle in Minnesota. Her deconstruction of Irish and German ethnic positioning with respect to temperance activism provides a rare interethnic history of the movement. At the same time, she shows how women engaged in temperance work as a way to form public identities and reforges the largely neglected, yet vital link between female temperance and suffrage activism. Relatedly, Meyer reflects on the continuities and changes between how the movement functioned to construct identity in the heartland versus the movement's more often studied roles in the East. She also gives a nuanced portrait of the culture clash between a comparatively reform-minded Minneapolis and dynamic anti-temperance forces in whiskey-soaked St. Paul--forces supported by government, community, and business institutions heavily invested in keeping the city wet.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 30.48mm | 1,043.26g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252039351
  • 9780252039355

Review quote

"Meyer performed extensive research in the archives of many of the temperance organizations, government records, and contemporary newspapers and other publications... Meyer blends clear explanations with well-chosen examples to show how the world the German brewers knew was changing... A compelling case that food and drink is an important subject for historical analysis, and it is a cultural expression just as significant as any other."--On the Bookshelf "A major contribution to temperance and ethnic history."--Journal of American Ethnic History "A major contribution to temperance and ethnic history. . . . Meyer combines theoretical awareness with massive archival research. Her chief interest is identity. She is critical of earlier temperance histories that describe a moral crusade by Protestant, middle-class, Anglo-Americans and privilege class and religion at the expense of ethnicity, gender, and place. Her local study offers a corrective. Recommended."--Choice "A fascinating volume that explores temperance through multiple lenses of ethnicity, gender, class, religion, and place."--Minnesota History "[Sabine N. Meyer] offers a fresh perspective that describes the temperance movement as a struggle among competing groups with distinct identities based on civic loyalty, religious affiliation, ethnicity, and different conceptions of women's roles. . . . A remarkable accomplishment by a young scholar who brings empathy and a clear-eyed analysis to a distinctly American phenomenon."--American Historical Review "Sabine Meyer's We Are What We Drink: The Temperance Battle in Minnesota challenges this surface understanding of the era, and evaluates the temperance movement as a social movement that resulted in American identity formation and reconfiguration... Any scholar of American social movements, social history, or culture studies will find this book essential reading."--Journalism Historyshow more

About Sabine N. Meyer

Sabine N. Meyer is an assistant professor of American studies at the Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Osnabruck.show more

Rating details

2 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 50% (1)
4 50% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X