From the September 1978 magazine.

New World of Sobriety

He found a better way to take a geographic cure

AMERICA HAS always been the land of the geographic cure. Our country was built by discontented minorities fleeing people, places, and things. If, for instance, you were a drunk in New York in 1780, out of work, out of favor, what could you do? Simple--disappear to the west and start over.

By about 1900, though, it was harder to disappear. Wherever the drunk parked himself, he became an object of municipal or county concern. His problem was the world's problem. Prohibition seemed a reasonable solution, but in the end it was a manifold failure. Not only did it make drinking fashionable, but it elevated the drunk to the stature of a folk hero, battling repressive government.

-- D. K.

Manhattan, New York

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