Dr. Megan Bever, associate professor of history and chair of the Social Science Department, will offer a book talk and signing at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, in the Spiva Library Quiet Room (413).
Her book – “At War with King Alcohol: Debating Drinking and Masculinity in the Civil War” – was published on Sept. 20 by the University of North Carolina Press.
“The book looks at how alcohol was used by the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War,” Bever said.
“One of the elements I found really interesting (while researching the book) was how liquor was controlled. The Confederacy tended to crack down harder on alcohol … there were sweeping declarations of marshal law that prohibited liquor sales in places like Virginia and Tennessee.
“I was really shocked to see Confederate states prohibiting liquor and using moral arguments … which was partly pragmatic. They needed to save grain.”
Bever said there were strong feelings about the use of alcohol by soldiers on both sides of the war.
“There were some in the North and the South who argued drinking, selling or the manufacturing of liquor could endanger their cause,” she said. “What and how much people drank became associated with how good of an American they were. If you imbibed too much, you were a ‘bad person’ or a danger to the community.”
Copies of “At War with King Alcohol” will be available for purchase following her presentation.