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Baptists & Bootleggers at Georgia Writers Museum

September 10, 2021 - 00:00
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    Kathryn Smith

Pull up a barstool and get better acquainted with Al Capone, Carry Nation, George Remus, F. Scott Fitzgerald and a host of other historical personalities as you learn of the South’s unique role in the ’20s and early ’30s when alcohol was banned by the federal government.

Georgia Writers Museum proudly welcomes back author and historian Kathryn Smith, this time presenting her newest book, “Baptists and Bootleggers: A Prohibition Expedition through the South… with Cocktail Recipes.” The book will be first released in September. The “Meet the Author” event will be held live on Thursday, Oct. 7, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets include admission to our Bootlegger’s Ball with Prohibition-era cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, lively music, and dancing, and of course our noted author, Kathryn Smith. Tickets are available at www. georgiawritersmuseum. org. Costumes encouraged, cocktails expected.

Kathryn’s previous books include “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; and “The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership that Defined a Presidency,” which was a finalist for the Southern Book Award in Biography.

Part travelogue and part history, Baptists and Bootleggers is a refreshingly lighthearted tour of sites throughout the South associated with Prohibition, such as museums (the American Prohibition Museum in Savannah), hotels, distilleries, bars, speakeasies, and even cemeteries. Each chapter features biographies of colorful figures in the battle to ban alcohol (and evade the ban), some long-lost to history. The book points travelers to places of interest and concludes with recipes for cocktails with such alluring names as The Presbyterian (made with Palmetto Whiskey), the Mary Pickford (based on rum), Kentucky Mule (bourbon, of course), and White Trash Lemonade (made with white lightning moonshine).

Kathryn Smith had her first alcoholic drink, a frozen daiquiri while attending a Beta Club convention in high school; a friend smuggled in the blender in her suitcase. Her taste has improved since then. Today, her favorite drink is the FDR Martini, featured in her latest book. She writes about history from her home in Anderson, South Carolina, often bringing her husband, Leo, along on journeys to investigate historical sites. She blogs at bootleggers. substack.com.

Georgia Writers Museum is dedicated to inspiring today’s writers and readers, and celebrating Georgia’s literary heritage by exploring the history and life stories of local writers Alice Walker (The Color Purple), Flannery O’Connor (A Good Man is Hard to Find), and Joel Chandler Harris (Brer Rabbit Folktales), along with others in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Currently, small group tours are available by appointment. Admission to the museum is free; the museum relies on donations from guests and supporters to deliver quality programming, exhibits and classes. To learn more, visit www.georgiawritersmuseum.com, Facebook: georgiawritersmuseum, and Instagram: georgiawritersmuseum8.