Through vivid local stories, Last Orders examines the tensions that mark Britain’s changing relationship with drink. Politicians, publicans, drinkers, doctors, and teetotallers clashed over the place of drink. For some, drinking beer was an expression of liberty. Brewing beer was a source of local pride, and for centuries selling beer had provided employment and tax revenues. In the nineteenth century, however, temperance reformers were ready to call time on drinking. They held drink responsible for disorder. It was harmful to health, corrupting to local politics, and damaging to economic activity.