Making, hauling, reading about it – I don’t make it or haul it! I just find it all rather fascinating…
This specific page, last updated: 12/08/2020
If you know of any online articles, websites or books not listed here relating to moonshine, please Send a Message to me and let me know all about them!
Moonshine – Blue Ridge Style
The History and Culture of Untaxed liquor in the Mountains of Virginia.
Interesting historical stuff about moonshine in Virginia.
Lots of different sections to click around in and read.
Includes a list of ‘further reading’ materials as well.
Exploring the History of Moonshine in the Appalachians.
Story by Mickie Meinhardt | Photographs by Gunner Hughes
on The Bitter Southerner site, June 30th, 2020
short version: it uniquely identifies that book… and makes it easier for bookstores, new or used to look it up for you… or for you to look it up yourself.
A Breed Apart
a true story about U.S. Treasury Agents during the moonshine years, takes place mostly in and around Atlanta, Georgia.
One part of the story takes place in Chattanooga, TN and the surrounding area.
by Charles H. Weems.
Retired Special Agent U.S. Treasury Department
Library of Congress card catalog number: 92-090110
ISBN : 0-9634357-0-1
Agents That Fly
Charles H. Weems
Retired U.S. Treasury
ISBN 0-9634357-2-8 (hardcover)
ISBN 0-9634357-3-6 (softcover)
a sequel to the book above, it talks about how the ATF started using aerial surveillance to tail suspects to stash houses, illegal distillates and raw material store houses. They were pioneers in the early use of aerial surveillance for law enforcement.
Joeseph Earl Dabney
ISBN : 0-914875-02-7
previously published in hardcover by charles scribner ISBN :
in paper back by Copple House books ISBN : 0-932298-00-1
This book was written during the early 1970’s and was published in 1974. The author interviewed a lot of then old retired moonshiners back up in North Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
He has an interesting history of how whiskey came over to America and why it filtered down to the mountains in the south.
He has some interesting interviews with some old moonshiners…
the explanation of pure corn whiskey vs. sugar whiskey, etc..
It is an interesting read.
More Mountain Spirits
The Continuing Chronicle of Moonshine Life and Corn Whiskey,
Wines, Ciders & Beers in America’s Appalachacians
Joeseph Earl Dabney
previously published by copple house books as: Mountain Spirits II
Revenuers & Moonshiners
Enforcing Federal Liquor Law in the Mountain South, 1865-1900
Wilbur R. Miller
It’s kinda text-booky… but has a lot of interesting tales and anecdotes in it.
The Foxfire Book
hog dressing, log cabin building, mountain crafts & foods, planting by the signs, snake lore, hunting tales, faith healing, moon shining, and other affairs of plain living.
A chapter of this book discusses the construction of stills and the use of them. There are also some diagrams and stories about ’em. This book doesn’t cover the copper smithing part of still construction, but it does have diagrams showing how the different types work and connect together.
The rest of the book is interesting as well, especially the log cabin part.
Rumrunner : the life and times of Johnny Schnarr
by Marion Parker, Robert Tyrrell
The story of Johnny Schnarr’s career as the most successful rum runner to work the Pacific Northwest during the era of US prohibition.
He ran liquor out of of Victoria, B.C. back during Prohibition using boats powered by twin V-12 Packard aircraft engines.
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Orca Book Publishers (June 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 092050194X
- ISBN-13: 978-0920501948
Driving with the Devil : Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels and the Birth of NASCAR
by Neal Thompson
I really enjoyed this book. It is the story of 1930’s – 1940’s stock car racing and moonshine that led up to the creation of NASCAR.
Lots of shine running stories from Dawsonville to Atlanta and interesting comments on modifications made to the late 1930’s Fords with the V8s.
I checked this one out from my library, but it is also on amazon.com and other book selling sites.
It was a good read if you like reading about the old race cars and racing action. It gets into the back story of where NASCAR came from and how it really got started. That story is way more interesting that the current corporate version.
The book finishes up in the early to mid 1950’s.
Anyhoo, check it out if you are interested in the old racing/old Fords/old North Georgia bootlegging stories.
This one isn’t exactly about moonshine… it is about drinking in America and how bourbon came about… etc..
The Social History of Bourbon: An Unhurried Account of Our Star-Spangled American Drink
By Gerald Carson foreword by Mike Veach
(you can purchase it at the link above if you want to – reprint from 2010)
paperback ISBN : 978-0-8131-2656-2
It is available on the different online book seller sites, different printings, etc..
It is also available from various used book stores.
Hardcover edition, 1963: Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 63-14884
This book was originally published in 1963. There have been different printings of it, so far I’ve found two different printings by the aforementioned University Press of Kentucky, one in 1984 and one in 2010.
The distinctive beverage of the Western world, bourbon is Kentucky’s illustrious gift to the world of spirits. Although the story of American whiskey is recorded in countless lively pages of our nation’s history, the place of bourbon in the American cultural record has long awaited detailed and objective presentation. Not a recipe book or a barman’s guide, but a fascinating and informative contribution to Americana, The Social History of Bourbon reflects an aspect of our national cultural identity that many have long suppressed or overlooked. Gerald Carson explores the impact of the liquor’s presence during America’s early development, as well as bourbon’s role in some of the more dramatic events in American history, including the Whiskey Rebellion, the scandals of the Whiskey Ring, and the “whiskey forts” of the fur trade. The Social History of Bourbon is a revealing look at the role of this classic beverage in the development of American manners and culture.–
note: I haven’t read this one yet… but it does have this little story in there:
Which, in my mind qualifies it to be added to the list of books I need to read.
03/2012 edit: I have acquired this book and I am in the process of reading it… it is worth it for the stories alone.
05/2012 edit: I read this book, it is an interesting read about Bourbon and all of the shenanigans that went on related to all liquors that lead to a lot of the regulations that exist today.
Return to Thunder Road (2nd Edition year 2000)
by Alex Gabbard
ISBN : 0-9622608-3-5
Has a little history on tax laws, whiskey in America, etc.. Most of the book is a series of interviews with various people that were involved in running moonshine or trying to stop them.
There is also a discussion about an incident that may have inspired the film : Thunder Road.
It has some interesting bits in it and neat stories and anecdotes.
Moonshine / 1985
by Alec Wilkinson
ISBN : 1-886913-24-2
A book that recounts the professional life of a lawman in North Carolina who would go around finding liquor houses and other things related to illegal moonshine…
Recipes – Tall Tales – Drinking Songs – Historical Stuff – Knee Slappers – How to Make It – How to Drink It – Pleasin’ the Law – Recoverin’ the Next Day
By Matthew B. Rowley
ISBN-13 : 978-1-57990-648-1(pbk.)
ISBN-10 : 1-57990-648-6(pbk.)
Copyright © 2007
This book was very interesting, it explains the fermentation process in very good detail, explains how to make a small still and has various recipes. If you’ve ever had questions about the process, this is a very good read.
American Still Life: The Jim Beam Story and the Making of the World’s #1 Bourbon.
by F. Paul Pacult
A short background and history of the beginnings of bourbon, then a history of the company that makes Jim Beam Bourbon, how it was started and has changed over the years.
A list of books I have not read, but have read about… pondering looking into them sometime, so here is the list :
Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey by Charles K. Cowdery
* Paperback: 284 pages
* Publisher: Made and Bottled in Kentucky (August 2004)
* Language: English
* ISBN: 0975870300
Moonshine: A Global History
by Kevin R. Kosar