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Ken Burns Previews His 'Prohibition' Documentary (VIDEO)

by Stephanie Opella, posted Sep 27th 2011 7:15PM

The phrase "single-issue campaigns, the decline of civil discourse and smear campaigns against presidential candidates" sounds like something you might hear on cable news these days, but that's how Ken Burns set the scene for his newest documentary 'Prohibition.'

Burns stopped by 'Good Day New York' (weekdays, 9AM ET on Fox) to preview the three-part documentary, which chronicles the rise and fall of the 18th Amendment.

The documentary filmmaker described American pre-prohibition drinking habits as an around-the-clock boozefest. "People had booze at breakfast ... the President of the United States John Adams would take a ladle-ful of hard cider," he said. In response, the Temperance Movement was born, which relied on the "insane idea that if you got rid of drink ... everything would be alright."

'Prohibition' made its debut on iPad and iPhone on Sept. 23 in advance of its TV premiere (Sun., Oct. 2 at 10PM ET on PBS), reportedly so it wouldn't have to compete with HBO's prohibition-drama 'Boardwalk Empire.' Burns said he's a fan of of the show, and has said he hopes his documentary will provide "good context" for 'Boardwalk.'

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