Jonna Pulkkinen: Kieltolaki. Kielletyn viinan historia Suomessa. [Prohibition. A history of prohibited liquor in Finland.]

29 June 2015 | Mini reviews, Reviews

KieltolakiJonna Pulkkinen
Kieltolaki. Kielletyn viinan historia Suomessa. [Prohibition. A history of prohibited liquor in Finland.]
Helsinki: Minerva, 2015. 213pp., ill.
ISBN 978-952-312-112-6
€32,90, hardback

Prohibition of the making and selling of strong liquor was in force in Finland between 1919 and 1932. In this approachable book, the journalist and non-fiction writer Jonna Pulkkinen charts Finnish attitudes to alcohol over the ages and describes the origin and effects of prohibition. Total abstinence was popular in Finland in the second half of the 19th century, and was adopted in particular by the working class. Limits on alcoholic consumption were first imposed as early as the First World War. When a prohibition law that had been passed a couple of years earlier came into effect in newly independent Finland in 1919, however, support had already begun to dwindle. Home stills proliferated, smuggling from abroad was considerable and broadly accepted, and enforcing the law was difficult. Pulkkinen has numerous interesting and even comical examples that flouted the law on prohibition. The law was broken in all social classes, the use of liquor and crime increased throughout the country, and taxation income on alcohol was lost. As public criticism grew, an advisory referendum was held in 1931, and as a result the prohibition law was abolished the following year.

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