Bootleggers and Borders


Bootleggers and Borders

The Paradox of Prohibition on a Canada-U.S. Borderland

Stephen T. Moore

288 pages
22 photographs, 5 illustrations, 2 maps, index


November 2014


$50.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2014


$50.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2014


$50.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Between 1920 and 1933 the issue of prohibition proved to be the greatest challenge to Canada-U.S. relations. When the United States adopted national prohibition in 1920—ironically, just as Canada was abandoning its own national and provincial experiments with prohibition—U.S. tourists and dollars promptly headed north and Canadian liquor went south. Despite repeated efforts, Americans were unable to secure Canadian assistance in enforcing American prohibition laws until 1930.
Bootleggers and Borders explores the important but surprisingly overlooked Canada-U.S. relationship in the Pacific Northwest during Prohibition. Stephen T. Moore maintains that the reason Prohibition created such an intractable problem lies not with the relationship between Ottawa and Washington DC but with everyday operations experienced at the border level, where foreign relations are conducted according to different methods and rules and are informed by different assumptions, identities, and cultural values.
Through an exploration of border relations in the Pacific Northwest, Bootleggers and Borders offers insight into not only the Canada-U.S. relationship but also the subtle but important differences in the tactics Canadians and Americans employed when confronted with similar problems. Ultimately, British Columbia’s method of addressing temperance provided the United States with a model that would become central to its abandonment and replacement of Prohibition. 

Author Bio

Stephen T. Moore is an associate professor of history at Central Washington University.


“Highly worthwhile for its deep archival research, its careful and sustained argument, and its sparkling prose.”—Andrew Graybill, American Historical Review

"Bootleggers and Borders is a very readable study of prohibition in the BC-US borderlands, combining discussions of political culture and ideology with accounts of the clandestine activities of the liquor smugglers. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in Jazz Age British Columbia and/or Canadian-American relations."—Daniel Francis, BC Studies

"Bootleggers and Borders provides a compelling view of Prohibition's impact on the distinct culture of the Pacific Northwest and the interplay between liquor policies in this region and those in the rest of the United States and Canada."—James Klein, Journal of American History

"This exhaustively researched book integrates borderlands, international, social, and political history, providing countless insights about Canada and the United States. It is a model of research on the subject of U.S.-Canada relations."—Stephen Azzi, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"This well-documented study is accessible without forsaking complexity, and I recommend it to borderlands scholars and historians of Canadian-American relations."—Dominique Brégent-Heald, Western Historical Quarterly

"The historiography on the Canadian-U.S. borderlands is growing, but exists more in anthologies and academic journals. Bootleggers and Borders is an excellent contribution to a field with few monographs. Moore's work is an important and timely contribution to the history of our beautiful region."—Robert C. Donnelly, Oregon Historical Quarterly

"Students of Pacific northwest history, prohibition history, and Canadian-American relations will appreciate the book."—Mary Ehrlander, Pacific Northwest Quarterly

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface: The Natures of Border
1. Creating a Smuggler’s Paradise
2. A Cross-Border Crusade
3. Refugees from Volstead
4. The Halcyon Days of Rum-Running
5. Symbol of Sovereignty
6. The Beryl G (and Second Thoughts)
7. Customs Scandals (and More Second Thoughts)
8. Neighbors and Neighbours
9. British Columbia and the Origins of American Repeal
Epilogue: Paradox Revisited

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