Cheever uses these sociological and historical trends to create a loose architecture for her book, but she’s best when writing about the way alcohol—its abuse and its rejection—affected personal lives, and when she digs up fascinating historical nuggets.
Susan Cheever is on her most solid ground in the sections of the book that have to do with artistic drinking...[but] the book is marred by factual errors...Cheever also makes some questionable assertions.
Throughout the book, Cheever addresses serious subjects with casual and at times humorous prose, making this book surprisingly fun to read. You won’t find this booze-filled version of American history in any textbooks, but as with any good barroom conversation, you’ll learn just as much.
That's one of many fascinating questions that Susan Cheever raises in Drinking in America: Our Secret History, a chronicle of America's past that is full of details they never told you back in fifth grade.