On Friday night, I was able to nab an exclusive interview with Arlington-based author Garrett Peck, who was in Charlottesville to speak about his new book, The Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet, at the Barnes & Noble book store at Barracks Road Shopping Center. Earlier in the day, Peck had spoken in Lexington to a group of VMI cadets at his alma mater and to other area residents.
I first encountered Peck a few weeks ago when I was in D.C. on business. Stuck in traffic on Interstate 66 in mid-afternoon, I tuned to the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU-FM. The conversation was about alcoholic beverage regulation -- a topic that has long interested me -- but it wasn't until the end of the interview that I learned the guest's name and that he was scheduled to speak that night at the Arlington Central Library. Since the library was just a few blocks from where my car would be parked, I decided to attend the presentation.
Peck's talk was interesting and entertaining. (It was accompanied by a slide show with images of the temperance movement and drinking culture.) When he mentioned that he would soon be in Charlottesville to talk about his book, I made a note of it.
That's how I found myself in the religion section of Barnes & Noble last evening, sitting with Garrett Peck and asking him questions about alcoholic beverage regulation, the drinking age, regional differences in attitudes toward alcohol consumption (and preferences for types of beverages), and other topics touched upon in The Prohibition Hangover.
The interview is in two parts of about seven minutes each, both also available on YouTube.
The first part includes introductory material. The second part addresses the most controversial question -- should the drinking age be lowered back to 18 -- and the efforts of groups like the Amethyst Initiative.
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