260 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6954-0
Published: September 2022
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6953-3
Published: September 2022
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-6955-7
Published: August 2022
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Using an array of sources—temperance periodicals, soldiers' accounts, legislative proceedings, and military records—Megan L. Bever explores the relationship between war, the practical realities of drinking alcohol, and temperance sentiment within the United States. Her insightful conclusions promise to shed new light on our understanding of soldiers' and veterans' lives, civil-military relations, and the complicated relationship between drinking, morality, and masculinity.
About the Author
Megan L. Bever is associate professor of history at Missouri Southern State University.
For more information about Megan L. Bever, visit the Author Page.
“Recommended . . . this well-researched, well-written monograph . . . is both a contribution to the story of drink and temperance in the 19th-century US and a rare historical study of drinking in the American military."—CHOICE
“In At War with King Alcohol, historian Megan L . Bever provides a long overdue study of alcohol’s contested, yet essential role during the American Civil War. . . . a holistic yet finely detailed account of alcohol’s contentious place in American society and culture during the Civil War era.”—North Carolina Historical Review
"A well-researched and well-written study that succeeds in demonstrating how Union and Confederate soldiers’ drinking represented a consequential and contested element of military life that came under the scrutiny of numerous 'stakeholders.' It is a fascinating read and should be included on reading lists for courses on the Civil War, reform movements, and military history, to name a few."—H-Nationalism
"Bever's excellent study of liquor and its use during the Civil War leaves no ground uncovered. The author's wonderful research tells a compelling story; this study is a model for other authors."—Barbara A. Gannon, University of Central Florida
"The U.S. temperance movement was one of the largest reform efforts of the antebellum period. But when the Civil War broke out, the otherwise raucous disputes about temperance seemed to simmer. In this smartly conceived and wonderful book, Megan Bever reveals how the debates about alcohol actually continued during the war and how temperance reformers feared that the war would undermine their fastidious efforts. Nurses, chaplains, and military officers were constantly dealing with the effects of alcohol in camps, hospitals, and on the battlefield. This is a truly original study that offers a fresh new way of thinking about the Civil War and its discontents."—Jim Downs, Gilder Lehrman–National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Civil War Studies and History, Gettysburg College