Ten Nights in a Bar-Room: And What I Saw There
Originally published in 1854, Ten Nights in a Bar-Room was the most important American temperance novel, rivaling Uncle Tom's Cabin for popularity at the time. It satisfied the appetite for the sensational and the lurid, yet at the same time was endorsed by all the clergy.
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Simply lovely! I usually don't read fiction, but I felt I should read such a much talked about book, written about one of my favorite topics: the decadence of alcohol. As a blossoming Prohibitionist, I just had to read this book. It did not disappoint me. It is the type of book I could see myself writing. I am surely on the same page as T.S. Arthur. Hopefully you are too. Wonderful, fantastic, brilliant! His vision is very right on! I love it how he used the term "inmates" to describe the sorry drunkards. I was offended by some of the injustice portrayed in the book, but fortunately, by the end, justice prevailed. It seems odd that many drunks in this book actually supported prohibition. I have yet to find any drunks to support prohibition, much less sober people to support prohibition. Actually, I find it hypocritical the drunk characters believed in prohibition yet drunk themselves. The introduction discusses the importance of legal measures in curing the drunk problem, indeed considering the comments I made in the last sentence, it would seem as if the "Maine State Law" (the contemporary measure advocated at the time) would be a Superman or Superwoman. The book ends in a way a good Prohibitionist would want it to end. But I am skeptical that people in the real world would have as much good sense and insight as these characters do. I agree with the book's main premise entirely, that alcohol is without redeeming value, that is wrecks everything it gets in contact with. The introduction by the editor is blunt. His calls "Ten Nights" "a bad novel" I disagree, it's a great novel with a beautiful theme that is still true after all these years. The more the world changes, the more it stays the same! Hard hitting, terse and powerful! Those who are receptive to justice, should love this wonderful book. A book that shows alcohol for what it truly is: endless trouble and decadence. Adopt its message as a guiding philosophy of your life and the world will be better.