PROHIBITION tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed. Prohibition was intended to protect all Americans from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse. But, paradoxically, the enshrining of a faith-driven moral code in the Constitution caused millions of Americans to rethink their definition of morality.

PBS Previews | Prohibition

22m 35s

A 30 minute preview of Prohibition and a Q&A with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.


  • A Nation of Hypocrites: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Nation of Hypocrites

    S1 E3 - 1h 46m

    Gangsters make huge profits and wreak havoc in cities across the country. By the late 1920s, many Americans believe that Prohibition has failed. After the election of FDR in 1932, Prohibition is repealed

  • A Nation of Scofflaws: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Nation of Scofflaws

    S1 E2 - 1h 51m

    In 1920, Prohibition goes into effect and millions of law-abiding Americans become lawbreakers overnight. Drys had hoped Prohibition would make the country a safer place, but the law has many victims

  • A Nation of Drunkards: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Nation of Drunkards

    S1 E1 - 1h 36m

    The story of Prohibition's rise and fall is a compelling saga that goes far beyond the oft-told tales of gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies, to reveal a complicated and divided nation in the throes of momentous transformation.

Extras + Features

  • Terribly Wonderful: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Terribly Wonderful

    S1 - 9m 11s

    Beer and Whiskey were not the Saloons only attraction to men, it served as a haven of manhood. Most cities had a designated district for saloons.

  • Federal Funding: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Federal Funding

    S1 - 2m 3s

    Supporting Prohibition fiscally was a problem between the federal government and the state government.

  • Washington, D.C. Mass March: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Washington, D.C. Mass March

    S1 - 51s

    On Dec. 10, 1913 Washington, D.C. citizens saw their first mass march. The protesters were to demand a Prohibition Amendment.

  • Eliza Jane Thompson: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Eliza Jane Thompson

    S1 - 7m 12s

    Eliza Jane Thompson, the wife of an ohio judge, led a women's protest of saloons by praying in front of them.

  • America, A Multi-Ethnic Nation: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    America, A Multi-Ethnic Nation

    S1 - 9m 14s

    At the beginning of the 20th century most of the population shifted from rural to urban through immigration.

  • Last Call: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Last Call

    S1 - 5m 3s

    With the passage of the 18th Amendment, Prohibition became the law of the land.

  • George Remus The Primrose Path: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    George Remus The Primrose Path

    S1 - 8m 41s

    George Remus, King of the Bootleggers, is caught by the government, then put on trial for murdering his wife.

  • Mabel Walker Willebrandt: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mabel Walker Willebrandt

    S1 - 5m 52s

    Mabel Walker Willebrandt was the Asst. Attorney Gen. and in charge of the Prohibition enforcement policy.

  • New York Cordial Stores: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    New York Cordial Stores

    S1 - 1m 54s

    Zeke Alpern's father Lou, owned three 'Cordial Stores' in NYC where he sold illegal alcohol.

  • Official Trailer 3: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Official Trailer 3

    S1 - 32s

    Watch Prohibition, where lofty goals trumped common sense, and average citizens became lawbreakers.

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