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Daniel Francis

8 October 2014 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The historian and author Daniel Francis discusses his new book, Closing Time: Prohibition, Rum-Runners, and Border Wars (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014), with Joseph Planta.

Closing Time: Prohibition, Rum-Runners, and Border Wars by Daniel Francis (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Closing Time

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.

Daniel Francis joins me again. The prolific historian and author has a new book out, Closing Time: Prohibition, Rum-Runners, and Border Wars. It’s far from being just another dry history book; far from it. It’s generously illustrated with over 200 hundred colour and black and white photographs, and the great historical writing from Mr. Francis is throughout. We get a sense of how in the early part of the 20th Century, we in Canada had our own period of prohibition, and though relatively brief compared to the Americans, there was a great impact on our country, its culture, our laws, our social mores, and more. You meet so many fascinating people in this book. There’s the Reverend Spracklin, a zealous preacher, who was vigilant against booze to the point that he used violence to maintain sobriety amongst his congregants and the townspeople in Windsor. There are the Canadian versions of gangsters like Al Capone, such as Hamilton’s Rocco Perri, as well as bootleggers like Emilio Picariello and Florence Lassandro; and borderunners like the Bronfman brothers. It’s such a rich history brought to life again in this book. Daniel Francis was last on for his book, Selling Canada, and was first on the program seven years ago with Red Light Neon. He’s written well over two dozen books. He’s a vital historian in this province and this country, who just last week was named the recipient of the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for the literary arts. Visit his website, it’s a good one, at www.danielfrancis.ca. This new book is published by Douglas & McIntyre. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, Dan Francis; Mr. Francis, good morning.