Teaching Prohibition | National Humanities Center

Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

Teaching Prohibition

Michael A. Lerner (Principal, Bard High School Early College, NY)

November 8, 2011

Prohibition bred glamour — speakeasies, flappers, the Jazz age. Prohibition bred crime — gangsters, smuggling, shoot-outs. It also pitted country folk against city dwellers, Protestants against Catholics, the native-born against immigrants. It promoted women’s liberation, stoked racial fears, made drinking alcohol an act of treason, and turned America into a nation of informers, all this while raising fundamental questions about the role of government in the lives of Americans and challenging definitions of American identity. Learn how to combine Ken Burns’ series “Prohibition” with primary sources to teach this rich and exciting period.


History / American History / Jazz / The Twenties / Prohibition / Primary Sources / Cultural History /