Daniel Okrent, a creator of “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” and performers Todd Susman and Audrey Lynn Weston, talk about the show, a revue that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. The show also features comic songs—new and old—as well as tributes to some of the giants of the comedy world. “Old Jews Telling Jokes” is playing at the Westside Theatre.
Cities across America have banned all sorts of things: styrofoam, plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic happy meal toys, foie gras. These are just a few of the contemporary bans, of course. Today, The Takeaway looks at the biggest ban in American history — a ban that started in specific cities but spread nationwide. It lasted for over a decade, but eventually was struck down. This was a ban on alcohol.
Daniel Okrent, former Public Editor for the New York Times, examines how and why we came to outlaw alcohol in this country, what life under Prohibition was like, and how it changed the country forever. In Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition , he shows how diverse forces came together to bring about Prohibition: the growing political power of the women’s suffrage movement, which allied itself with the antiliquor campaign; the fear of small-town Protestants that they were losing control of their country to the immigrants in the cities; the anti-German sentiment stoked by World War I; and a variety of other factors, ranging from the rise of the automobile to the advent of the income tax.
Pick up a copy and start reading! Daniel Okrent will be here on March 6 to talk about the book. Leave your questions and comments below to join the conversation!
From Boardwalk Empire on our television screens, to speakeasy-style bars on every other corner, Prohibition is all the rage. Not the actual prohibition of liquor, of course, but that period of time between 1920 and 1933 when alcohol was illegal, and yet it flowed with a reckless abandon. Bestselling author and former New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent has captured this moment in his recent book, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. He joins us to paint a portrait of a time when the country may have been dry, but the music and culture was - and still is - intoxicating.
With an unemployment rate of 28.9% and a $300 million budget shortfall, things in "Motor City" have rarely been worse. To cover the story, Time is trying something new: moving there. The magazine has bought a house in Detroit and moved a team of reporters there to truly get the feel for the city. We talk to Time Magazine contributor Daniel Okrent about the year-long "Assignment Detroit." And for a deeper look at the city's problems, we also speak to long-time Detroit resident and Circuit Court Judge, Vonda Evans.