Alcohol consumption is frequently described as a contemporary, worsening and peculiarly British social problem that requires radical remedial regulation. Informed by historical research and sociological analysis, this book takes an innovative and refreshing look at how public attitudes and the regulation of alcohol have developed through time. It argues that, rather than a response to trends in consumption or harm, ongoing anxieties about alcohol are best understood as ‘hangovers’ derived, in particular, from the Victorian period. The product of several years of research, this book aims to help readers re-evaluate their understandings of drinking. As such, it is essential reading for students, academics and anyone with a serious interest in Britain’s ‘drink problem’.
"A provocative analysis of the interrelated moral and legal frameworks through which alcohol consumption has been regulated in Britain since the 18th century." British Journal of Criminology
"An enjoyable book [that] offers an important perspective on Britain’s historical relationship with alcohol." Law Crime and History
"In his historical account, Yeomans teases apart the actual threat posed by alcohol consumption versus what has been portrayed to date and the levels of public anxiety about it. His work provides deep background and encourages readers to reflect on and question dominant alarmist narratives perpetuated in the media. This book is an integral starting point for any reader interested in a critical analysis of British media portrayal of public attitudes towards alcohol. More specifically, it would appeal to an interdisciplinary audience (sociologists, media scholars, historians, legal scholars etc.) interested in a historical approach to alcohol studies." Sociology of Health & Illness
“This is a significant and original work which synthesises a comprehensive grasp of the legal history of alcohol in England with a sensitive application of the relatively new conceptual framework of moral regulation and thus reshapes our understanding of the complex of factors shaping past and present control of alcohol consumption.” Professor Charles Critcher, Sheffield Hallam University
"This engaging text is a ‘must-read’ for anyone interested in moral panics, and should be read widely by anyone interested more broadly in the medicalisation of society and its problems, or in the practice of ‘legislating for one’s own good’. It is an important and timely study, and should be widely read." Dr Judith Rowbotham, Director, SOLON, and Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London
"Yeomans' thought-provoking book explores how laws and beliefs regarding alcohol evolved in Britain. The historical analysis is useful for contextualizing present-day debates about alcohol-related issues." -Tiffany Bergin, Kent State University, USA
Thinking about drinking;
Temperance and teetotalism;
Balancing act or spirited measures?;
The apogee of the temperance movement;
An age of permissiveness;
Alcohol, crime and disorder;
Health, harm and risk;
Conclusion: spirited measures and Victorian hangovers.