The recently appointed public editor at the New York Times, Daniel Okrent, has signed to write a major book about the Prohibition era in the United States, which lasted from 1920 to 1933 and had a vast impact on the country's social and moral life—including, ironically, boosting its thirst for hard liquor. The eager buyer was Scribner publisher Susan Moldow, who signed for North American, audio and first serial rights with agent Liz Darhansoff at Darhansoff & Verrill—part of the deal being an arrangement whereby the book will form the basis for one of award-winning TV documentary maker Ken Burns's history series for PBS. The book is called Forbidden Fruit: America During Prohibition and will appear, along with the movie, in 2008. Okrent began his professional life as a book editor at Harcourt, Grossman and Knopf before going on to a distinguished career in newspaper and magazine journalism.