Gentlemen Bootleggers: The True Story of Templeton Rye, Prohibition, and a Small Town in Cahoots

Bryce T. Bauer. Chicago Review (IPG, dist.), $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61374-848-0
Journalist Baure brings to life the Prohibition era in this history of a small Iowa community’s response to the 18th Amendment. People at all levels of society in Templeton, Iowa worked to undermine the ban on the sale of alcohol: Monsignor F.H. Huesmann, for example, passed out samples of rye produced locally, and even allowed a still to operate in the basement of his church. Otis P. Morganthaler, a doctor and the town’s mayor, ordered that the town’s water supply be turned on at night to enable citizens to refill their mash tanks, and even posted bail for those who had been arrested. The narrative is framed by the story of Joseph Irlbeck, who rose from poverty to become the town’s leading maker and seller of illegal alcoholic beverages; his iconic Templeton Rye achieved national success. Bauer turns phrases easily, as in this description of local sheriff Benjamin Wilson, who oversaw a county divided about Prohibition by “compromising law and order to the passions of inflamed patriotism and jingoistic fervor.” Readers will be entertained. B&w photos. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Wolf Literary Services. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 292 pages - 978-1-61374-849-7
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-61373-522-0
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