The Great Illusion. An Informal History of Prohibition.
Garden City: Doubleday & Company Inc.; Country Life Press, 1950.
Octavo (20 x 15 cm.), 344 pages. Index. FIRST EDITION. The final work from the historian, journalist, editor, and the author of classic studies of American mores including Gangs of New York, The French Quarter, and Barbary Coast. Asbury's first published work, the story of a small town prostitute, was also partially responsible for the rise of H.L. Mencken's American Mercury. This present work is a remarkably detailed portrait of America and the long march (that began before the nation was formed) toward Prohibition. Asbury was more than an observer and recorder of the period between the Volstead Act and Repeal, he also edited and supplied the introduction for the famous 1928 edition of Jerry Thomas' The Bon Vivant's Companion: Or, How to Mix Drinks (he also signed the limited edition copies). Some age-toning to text block; otherwise fine in publisher's silver-titled black cloth. In slightly edge worn dust jacket, with some light soiling. Generally very good. Inscribed by the author, "For Sara and Ezra Stone, with a bow the babies and the bird [?], Herbert Asbury, New York, Oct. 10, 1950". Stone was a radio actor, most famous as the voice of Henry Aldrich ("Hen-reeee, Henry Aldrich"), and later a writer director who worked with greats including Milton Berle, Fred Allen, and Danny Thomas, and on popular TV shows including The Munsters, Lost in Space, and The Flying Nun. [Not in Noling, Beverage Literature (though Asbury's edition of Jerry Thomas' work is included)].