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Baptists & Bootleggers Launch Party coming to Daps Breakfast & Imbibe

A spirited tour through the Prohibition-era South

Kathryn Smith's Baptists & Bootleggers explores the untold stories of Prohibition in the South
Kathryn Smith's Baptists & Bootleggers explores the untold stories of Prohibition in the South

By Dispatch Staff

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the launch event has been rescheduled from Thursday, October 28, to Saturday, October 30.

On Saturday, October 30, Daps Breakfast & Imbibe is hosting a launch party for Kathryn Smith’s latest book, Baptists & Bootleggers: A Prohibition Expedition Through the South . . . with Cocktail Recipes. Yes, there will be cocktails served, though these will be of the legal variety and created by the team at The Gin Joint.

Baptists and Bootleggers cover sm.jpg

Smith’s book is a definite departure from the typical Prohibition narrative. Most pop culture depictions of the era focus on gangsters in large northern cities like Chicago and New York, but Baptists & Bootleggers takes a deep dive into a less-explored territory: the South.

With the notable exception of Louisiana, all of the Southern states voted themselves dry several years before national Prohibition. That meant they had flourishing illegal booze operations long before the gangsters in Chicago and Manhattan, and ports from Charleston to New Orleans were major entry points for bootleg rum. Many of the major figures of Prohibition—Mabel Walker Willebrandt, Carry Nation, and even Al Capone—had significant ties to the South, too.

Smith’s narrative takes readers on a journey from the roots of Prohibition straight through Repeal, from a notorious shootout in Knoxville between wet and dry newspaper editors to Al Capone’s waterfront home on Palm Island in Miami. Included are a series of “Prohibition expeditions” that map out tours of hotels, bars, speakeasies, museums and cemeteries where readers can explore the legacy of the Noble Experiment. And, yes, there are plenty of cocktail recipes provided for inspiration.

Kathryn Smith
Kathryn Smith

Smith is a journalist, writer and American history speaker who lives in Anderson, South Carolina. Her previous books include The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership that Defined a Presidency and Gertie: The Fabulous Life of Gertrude Sanford Legendre, Heiress, Explorer, Socialite, Spy, which won the Benjamin Franklin Gold Award in biography from the Independent Book Publishers Association. She is also the co-author along with Kelly Durham of the Missy LeHand Mystery series.

The launch event for Baptists & Bootleggers will be held Saturday, October 30 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Daps Breakfast & Imbibe and will include cocktails poured by The Gin Joint and hors d’oeuvres created by the Daps team. General admission is $10.00, and for $35.00 you get admission along with a copy of the book. Tickets are available from City Paper Tickets.

About the Author

Dispatch Staff

The hardworking team behind the Southeastern Dispatch