Sociology Professor Pens Text on Prohibition in the South

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Dr. Michael Lewis, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology (SSWA), has published The Coming of Southern Prohibition, an examination of the rise and fall of South Carolina’s state-run liquor dispensary system from its emergence in 1892 until statewide prohibition in 1915. The system, which required government-owned outlets to bottle and sell all alcohol, began as a way to avoid prohibition and enrich government coffers.

Historian Richard F. Hamm writes that Lewis’ book is “an illuminating microhistory. It uses the natural laboratory created by shifts in South Carolina’s alcohol policy to assay the economic, social and cultural factors contributing to and impeding liquor prohibition in the South. To date, this is the most nuanced study of how the policy of prohibition of prohibition became the preferred southern solution to the problems perceived to be caused by alcohol.”

Lewis holds a PhD from the University of Virginia and studies political sociology, social movements and sociological theory.

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