On the event of its publication in 1965, Murray Morgan wrote, The Dry Years, which might be subtitled ?The Fall and Rise of John Barleycorn,' is a delightful blend of scholarship, narrative exposition and wit. ...Clark is knowing and acid about alcohol as a class problem. he points out that the drys were usually led by upperclass types whose peers would derive benefit by better habits in the working class. He does not, however, fall into the trap of attributing the attitudes of the reformers to hypocrisy. The drys were awash with sincerity. ...It is one of the many merits of this delightful book that Norman Clark does not rub our noses in the fact that though times change, problems remain.
In this substantially updated edition of the classic story of a region's experience with Prohibition, Norman Clark reviews to the present the political history of liquor control in Washington State, and issue taken seriously in the state and the nation as those of black slavery, wage slavery, and child welfare. He traces the effect of social change upon liquor morality through nearly two hundred years of efforts to make the use of alcohol compatible with the American view of social progress.