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This title in other editions

Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine


Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine Cover

ISBN13: 9781416571797
ISBN10: 1416571795
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the summer of 1794, drunk and armed outlaws gathered in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, intent on preventing the collection of the Whiskey Tax. George Washington mustered 13,000 troops to quell the rebellion, but by the time they arrived, the rebels had vanished; America’s first moonshiners had packed up their stills and moved on.

From these moonshine pioneers, to the bathtub gin runners of the 1920s, to today’s booming bootleg businessmen, journalist Max Watman traces the historical roots and contemporary story of white lightning, which has played a surprisingly large role in American history. It touched the election of Thomas Jefferson, the invention of the IRS, and the origins of NASCAR. It is a story of tommy guns, hot rods, and shot houses, and the story is far from over. In this fascinating, centuries-long history of illicit booze, Watman infiltrates every aspect of small-scale distilling in America, taking us from the backwoods of Appalachia to the gritty nip joints of Philadelphia, from a federal courthouse to Pocono Speedway. Along the way, this unrepentant lover of moonshine profiles the colorful characters who make up white whiskey’s lore and hilariously chronicles his own attempts to distill hooch from his initial ill-fated batch to his first successful jar of ’shine.


Chasing the White Dog is intoxicating look at the inner workings of the moonshine business.

About the Author

Max Watman is the author of Race Day, which was an editors’ choice in the New York Times Book Review. He was the horse racing correspondent for the New York Sun and has written for various publications on books, music, food, and drink. He lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife and son.

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Ashley Bowen-Murphy, March 1, 2012 (view all comments by Ashley Bowen-Murphy)
I loved this book-- but, I went onto it expecting a meditation on Moonshine in America. Parts of the book could have used diagrams, especially the technical discussions about still construction. On the whole, though, I really enjoyed the way the author wove together folklore, ethnography, history, law, and a little DIY spirit (pun intended).

This book is a quick read, full of interesting trivia, and well worth the read for any amateur booze hound.
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Product Details

Watman, Max
Simon & Schuster
United States - General
Economic History
Beverages - Wine & Spirits
US History-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.44 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Business » History and Biographies
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Bartending and Liquor
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wine » General
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wine » Wines of the World
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wines and Beer
Cooking and Food » General
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine Used Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416571797 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Chasing the White Dog is intoxicating look at the inner workings of the moonshine business.
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