counter create hit Tar Heel Lightnin': How Secret Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Tar Heel Lightnin': How Secret Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World

Availability: Ready to download

From the late nineteenth century well into the 1960s, North Carolina boasted some of the nation's most restrictive laws on alcohol production and sale. For much of this era, it was also the nation's leading producer of bootleg liquor. Over the years, written accounts, popular songs, and Hollywood movies have turned the state's moonshiners, fast cars, and frustrated Feds in From the late nineteenth century well into the 1960s, North Carolina boasted some of the nation's most restrictive laws on alcohol production and sale. For much of this era, it was also the nation's leading producer of bootleg liquor. Over the years, written accounts, popular songs, and Hollywood movies have turned the state's moonshiners, fast cars, and frustrated Feds into legends. But in Tar Heel Lightnin', Daniel S. Pierce tells the real history of moonshine in North Carolina as never before. This well-illustrated, entertaining book introduces a surprisingly varied cast of characters who operated secret stills and ran liquor from the swamps of the Tidewater to Piedmont forests and mountain coves. From the state's earliest days through Prohibition to the present, Pierce shows that moonshine crossed race and economic lines, linking men and women, the rebellious and the respectable, the oppressed and the merely opportunistic. As Pierce recounts, even churchgoing types might run shipments of that good ol' mountain dew when hard times came and there was no social safety net to break the fall. Folklore, popular culture, and changing laws have helped fuel a renaissance in making and drinking commercial moonshine, and Pierce shows how today's producers understand their ties to the past. Above all, this book reveals that moonshine's long, colorful history features surprises that can change how we understand a state and a region.


Compare
Ads Banner

From the late nineteenth century well into the 1960s, North Carolina boasted some of the nation's most restrictive laws on alcohol production and sale. For much of this era, it was also the nation's leading producer of bootleg liquor. Over the years, written accounts, popular songs, and Hollywood movies have turned the state's moonshiners, fast cars, and frustrated Feds in From the late nineteenth century well into the 1960s, North Carolina boasted some of the nation's most restrictive laws on alcohol production and sale. For much of this era, it was also the nation's leading producer of bootleg liquor. Over the years, written accounts, popular songs, and Hollywood movies have turned the state's moonshiners, fast cars, and frustrated Feds into legends. But in Tar Heel Lightnin', Daniel S. Pierce tells the real history of moonshine in North Carolina as never before. This well-illustrated, entertaining book introduces a surprisingly varied cast of characters who operated secret stills and ran liquor from the swamps of the Tidewater to Piedmont forests and mountain coves. From the state's earliest days through Prohibition to the present, Pierce shows that moonshine crossed race and economic lines, linking men and women, the rebellious and the respectable, the oppressed and the merely opportunistic. As Pierce recounts, even churchgoing types might run shipments of that good ol' mountain dew when hard times came and there was no social safety net to break the fall. Folklore, popular culture, and changing laws have helped fuel a renaissance in making and drinking commercial moonshine, and Pierce shows how today's producers understand their ties to the past. Above all, this book reveals that moonshine's long, colorful history features surprises that can change how we understand a state and a region.

33 review for Tar Heel Lightnin': How Secret Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Luke

    I wouldn't have thought a state-specific recounting of the historical importance of a spirit well-known for poisoning and/or blinding a percentage of its consumers would be something I'd be eager to read. I would've thought such a work would be a little too esoteric – I'm neither a moonshine aficionado, nor an NC native – for me, but I'm happy to say that I was wrong on this count. Tar Heel Lightnin' is a lot less dry (fitting, I guess) than I'd suspected a scholarly work on the subject might be I wouldn't have thought a state-specific recounting of the historical importance of a spirit well-known for poisoning and/or blinding a percentage of its consumers would be something I'd be eager to read. I would've thought such a work would be a little too esoteric – I'm neither a moonshine aficionado, nor an NC native – for me, but I'm happy to say that I was wrong on this count. Tar Heel Lightnin' is a lot less dry (fitting, I guess) than I'd suspected a scholarly work on the subject might be. (That said, most scholarly works don't usually include a hefty tranche on the dodgy history of early NASCAR racing. But maybe they should.) The book is an excellent cure to any preconceptions one may have held about moonshine and its role in Southern society. Author Daniel S. Pierce has stitched together a very easy-reading tale which stretches from the first migrant populations (using brewing practices from their homes with the materials found nearby) to the antebellum South, to the dry days of prohibition, right up to the modern, hipster-distilled spirits of today. What becomes clear is that illicit booze has always been a part of of the social fabric of the South. Indeed, it's more than once stated that religious leaders weren't averse to a bit of a tipple, a little spirit to aid the spiritual, if you will. It's crossed colour and creed, and has proved to be an additional earner for people during hard times – an insurance, if you will. The technical side of distillation is covered in enough detail to inform, but not so much as to induce snoozing. The dangers of adulteration are covered – though not quite as much as I would've thought, given how much the whole "drink it and go blind" trope is played out in media. The role of organised crime in booze distribution is discussed, as is the way NASCAR grew out of both the money and the super-fast vehicles of the illicit trade. It's surprising how many other aspects of life are touched in this story. There's a lot of interesting rogues in the book, to be sure. Pierce breaks up chapters with thumbnail sketches of various luminaries, and highlights, as well as pop-culture trivia. Movies, songs and TV shows are discussed, including The Dukes of Hazzard, which was plainly based on a Tar Heel bootlegger, no matter how much the producers want to relocate to Georgia. The best thing that came from this work was that it challenged the assumption that popular culture has birthed in me: that moonshine was for jug-blowing rednecks. It's not the case, and Pierce's book explains how much more a part of NC's history and culture the drink (and its production) is. It made me look at something I only knew by stereotype, and see that there was much more there than meets the eye. (Assuming you can find the still, that is.) (This book was supplied by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It's published by the University of North Carolina Press and is well worth your time. It's available now.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Oak City Books

    As a North Carolinian with moonshine in my ancestral DNA, I was excited to get my hands on Tar Heel Lighnin. This book sheds light on lots of the history but in a way that had me saying, "ohhhh," when I kept reading. You see, moonshine has quite a history of it's own and the version I read was very similar to parts I had been told by various members of my family. The kicker is, my family history passed down over a few generations has focused on more of the "tobacco business," the family had. Tru As a North Carolinian with moonshine in my ancestral DNA, I was excited to get my hands on Tar Heel Lighnin. This book sheds light on lots of the history but in a way that had me saying, "ohhhh," when I kept reading. You see, moonshine has quite a history of it's own and the version I read was very similar to parts I had been told by various members of my family. The kicker is, my family history passed down over a few generations has focused on more of the "tobacco business," the family had. Truth is, after Hurricane Hazel came through in 1954, the trees became the perfect hideaway for the stills. And those stills supported my ancestors in ways that tobacco could not. I appreciated the chance to read this one and think it will make a great gift this holiday for some members of my family! I'm really thankful that Daniel Pierce was able to capture such rich information when a lot of the word of mouth history is quickly disappearing. Cheers!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Denice Langley

    An entertaining and educational book that you'll love so much you won't share your copy. The title hooked me, the jacket description reeled me in. Daniel Pierce had to have enjoyed writing this book. His passion for the subject shines through in every page. Moonshine today is a poor imitation of the first beverages to come out of the North Carolina mountains. As you quickly turn pages even when you should be doing something else, you'll feel the tension build between the illegal still owners and An entertaining and educational book that you'll love so much you won't share your copy. The title hooked me, the jacket description reeled me in. Daniel Pierce had to have enjoyed writing this book. His passion for the subject shines through in every page. Moonshine today is a poor imitation of the first beverages to come out of the North Carolina mountains. As you quickly turn pages even when you should be doing something else, you'll feel the tension build between the illegal still owners and the law and sometimes between each other. If you've ever tasted moonshine, or thought about tasting it, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    This was such a unique and interesting read! I had never thought that I would want to know the history of Moonshine, but for some reason, I wanted to read this book. I am so glad that I did, as the author's extensive research was evident to the reader and I learned so many new things about this "good 'ol mountain dew". For example, so many people were brought together by moonshine and there are recipes that have been passed down via generations of families. This book was riveting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Picked up on a lark. As well as enlightening, it was a fun read. His use of side bars, gave great depth without breaking continuity. Will look at his other efforts with great anticipation.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Istoria Lit

    For some reason I can't explain I am drawn to North Carolina. I was not disappointed in this read. It was great as a history text but it was also great fun to curl up with. Highly recommend!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alysa H.

    Well, I certainly learned a lot more about the colorful history of moonshine in North Carolina than I ever thought I'd need to know! The text itself, though sometimes dry and repetitive, is the star of this book, as it goes into what seems to be quite thorough detail about the socioeconomic conditions that brought about the ascendancy of NC's prime placement in the world of American moonshine, though it does tend to more or less brush off any serious suggestion of other states' positions. The si Well, I certainly learned a lot more about the colorful history of moonshine in North Carolina than I ever thought I'd need to know! The text itself, though sometimes dry and repetitive, is the star of this book, as it goes into what seems to be quite thorough detail about the socioeconomic conditions that brought about the ascendancy of NC's prime placement in the world of American moonshine, though it does tend to more or less brush off any serious suggestion of other states' positions. The sidebar passages, ostensibly there to feature specific personages, don't often contain different information than the main text, so I'm not sure why they're even included. Better to excise this info from the main text, no? And have it say, like "see sidebar" or something? The subtitle of this book would be more accurate if it replaced "fast cars" with "prohibition" as the latter factor looms larger. The sections about cars ultimately comprise relatively little of the text, and tend to be embedded in various biographical sketches anyway. Though I must say I had no idea that the roots of NASCAR were so entangled with moonshine. Not that I'm surprised. The author, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina Asheville, clearly knows his stuff, via both research and the ol' Boots on the Ground method. I'd recommend this to committed readers of serious non-fiction about the American South, though not to more casual readers of pop non-fiction, as the writing here is more academic than the latter would normally enjoy. ** I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley **

  8. 4 out of 5

    Randee Green

    Tar Heel Lightnin': How Secret Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World by Daniel S. Pierce will be published on October 21st 2019 by University of North Carolina Press. Tar Heel Lightnin' is a fun and informative recounting of North Carolina’s storied history when it comes to illegal liquor and the moonshiners and bootleggers involved in making and distributing it. Pierce provides the reader with a well-rounded, thoroughly researched summary of the prevalence o Tar Heel Lightnin': How Secret Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World by Daniel S. Pierce will be published on October 21st 2019 by University of North Carolina Press. Tar Heel Lightnin' is a fun and informative recounting of North Carolina’s storied history when it comes to illegal liquor and the moonshiners and bootleggers involved in making and distributing it. Pierce provides the reader with a well-rounded, thoroughly researched summary of the prevalence of moonshine since the early days in North Carolina up through Prohibition to the present. Pierce also shows the influence of moonshine on Hollywood as was as in the early days of NASCAR. Tar Heel Lightnin' is a must ready for anyone who is interested in learning more about moonshine or the history of North Carolina. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beth SHULAM

    As the descendant of two families from Franklin and Henry County, Virginia who were involved in the bootleg business, this book helped me understand the lives of my ancestors and the socioeconomic factors that contributed to their involvement. Lots of detail and research that is woven into a well written and entertaining story of the history of bootlegging in North Carolina.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Winchester

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christy

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melton Bridgeman

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kusaimamekirai

  15. 5 out of 5

    James

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steve Walker

  17. 5 out of 5

    Diana Callaghan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pstansel

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gal4foto

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Pies

  23. 5 out of 5

    James Hill Welborn III

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christa Chappelle

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aubree

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Williams

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chaz

  30. 5 out of 5

    Candy

  31. 5 out of 5

    Monica

  32. 4 out of 5

    J Simpson

  33. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.