Tar Heel Lightnin’: How Secret Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World by Daniel S. Pierce.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.
I wouldn’t have thought a state-specific recounting of the historical importance of a spirit well-known for poisoning and/or blinding a percentage of its consumers would be something I’d be eager to read. I would’ve thought such a work would be a little too esoteric – I’m neither a moonshine aficionado, nor an NC native – for me, but I’m happy to say that I was wrong on this count. Tar Heel Lightnin’ is a lot less dry (fitting, I guess) than I’d suspected a scholarly work on the subject might be.
(That said, most scholarly works don’t usually include a hefty tranche on the dodgy history of early NASCAR racing. But maybe they should.)