In this lively and engaging history, Madelon Powers recreates the daily life of the barroom, exploring what it was like to be a "regular" in the old-time saloon of pre-prohibition industrial America. Through an examination of saloongoers across America, her investigation offers a fascinating look at rich lore of the barroom—its many games, stories, songs, free lunch customs, and especially its elaborate system of drinking rituals that have been passed on for decades.
"A free-pouring blend of astonishing facts, folklore and firsthand period observations. . . . It's the rich details that'll inspire the casual reader to drink deep from this tap of knowledge."—Don Waller, USA Today recommended reading
"A surprise on every page."—Publishers Weekly
"Here we get social history that appreciates the bar talk even while dissecting its marvelous rituals."—Library Journal, starred review
"Careful scholarship with an anecdotal flair to please even the most sober of readers."—Nina C. Ayoub, Chronicle of Higher Education