During the previous two years the United States had tumbled into economic depression with the unemployment rate rising as the stock market sank.
Industrial jobs were especially devastated – leading to dozens of unemployment rallies and anti-eviction protests across the country.
But the Newark men took no interest in that.
Instead with their ranks stretching for block after block they held up signs proclaiming their top political priority: We Want Beer.
What they cared about ardently and urgently was bringing an end to the disastrous national experiment known as Prohibition.
With her emphasis on the American ‘state’ McGirr steps into what has become one of the most fruitful if sprawling areas of inquiry in academic political history.