Customer Review

2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, which could have been so much better, 28 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Secret Still. Scotland's Clandestine Whisky Makers (Paperback)
The subject of illegal whisky making, its history, the economic and social conditions surrounding it, and how it was combatted by the government, has the potential to make a great book for whisky afficionados, especially when you consider how many of today's large commercial distilleries have roots in illegal distilling. But this book isn't it. It starts well, with a survey of the economic conditions and circumstances of distilling. This makes an excellent text on how having different tax rates for the same goods in different places in a single jurisdiction is Just Plain Dumb, and how arbitrary and inconsistent law encourages crime.

But that's all that's good in the book. The rest is just an incoherent collection of uncited anecdotes and well-researched and cited facts, with obvious tall tales thrown in without comment (for instance the tale of how a cripple was able to jump from his boat into that of a customs crew and smash their boat apart while the excise officers and their crew were still on board). To add insult to injury, the publisher has obviously bulked out what is still a fairly slim volume by inserting a large space between each disjointed fact or anecdote, attempting to hide that with a small image. And finally, the scholarship (which would other wise be fairly good if only the editor had managed to bash it into a coherent shape) is terribly let down by an obviously biased treatment of the illegal distillers as folk-heroes and excisemen as The Enemy, while largely ignoring the violence between distilling gangs, the poor quality of the spirit (which wasn't aged like it is today) and the effects on health of an unregulated alcohol industry having little in the way of quality control.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.0 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £8.83
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: London, United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 154,178