Originally published in 1974, Mountain Spirits traces the history of whiskey making from its origins in Ulster, Ireland, through its arrival in the United States in the great waves of mostly Scotch-Irish settlers who traveled the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road into the Southern Appalachians, making illicit corn “likker” part of the southern way of life. Colorful interviews and stories relate the experiences and methods of the independent moonshiners who plied their craft in the hills, the revenue agents who tracked them down (often with respect and affection) and the wilder young men who hauled the product in the hotrod cars. As legal distilling brings the tradition to a new generation, Joseph Dabney offers a glimpse of a time when crops were measured in gallons and families carried the secrets of their stills to their graves.
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