Dr Henry Yeomans discusses new publication in interview with Alcohol and Drugs History Society
Dr Henry Yeomans speaks with interviewer Claire Clark about his new book 'Alcohol and Moral Regulation: Public Attitudes, Spirited Measures and Victorian Hangovers'.
Dr Yeomans is a former contributer of Points, an academic group blog that brings together scholars with wide-ranging expertise with the goal of producing original and thoughtful reflections on the history of alcohol and drugs, the web of policy surrounding them, and their place in popular culture.
Clark asks: Describe your book in terms your bartender could understand.
Yeomans responds: "Alcohol is a magnetic topic for public attention in England and Wales. Newspapers incessantly run stories on the ills of binge drinking, new government policies regularly seek to address ‘irresponsible’ or ‘problem’ drinking, and commentators and campaign groups routinely demand tighter laws to counter an ‘out of control’ drinking ‘epidemic’... This book investigates how public attitudes and the legal regulation of alcohol have developed through time. It presents a ‘history of the present’ in which the emergence and development of this British preoccupation with our own drinking habits is traced from the eighteenth century to the present day."
Clark asks: What do you think a bunch of alcohol and drug historians might find particularly interesting about your book?
Yeomans responds: "Hopefully a lot! To start with, this is the first dedicated, systematic study of how public attitudes to alcohol in Britain have changed through the long sweep of modern history. It makes particular use of newspaper sources as a window onto dominant understandings of alcohol at different points in time and also involves an extensive consideration of changes in statutory law..."