The answer lies in early Americans’ fascination with delirium tremens, or alcoholic insanity, and the Temperance Movement of the early-to-mid 19th century.
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Matthew Osborn, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of Rum Maniacs: Alcoholic Insanity in the Early American Republic (University of Chicago Press, 2014), leads us on an exploration of early American medical history and reform movements.
You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/043
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our world. Each episode features an interview with an historian who shares their unique insights into our early American past.
A version of this article was first published at the New York Almanack in 2015.
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