The towering Nordic race of physical and mental giants, comprising the Germans, Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxons--the big-headed, broad-shouldered, big-eating, big-drinking and big-fighting sword-arm men of the north--were the architects of the modern world. They were the old Vikings who, before Columbus, ferried the Atlantic in an open boat. They were the conquerors of Imperial Rome. That race of men has civilized, enlightened and uplifted the entire world, banished the ages of darkness and savagery, and replaced them with this age of invention, discovery, enlightenment and human well-being. But that was a race of boozers, wine-bibbers and beer-drinkers.The author is Hudson Maxim, the brother of inventor Hiram Maxim, born in Maine of New England Puritan stock and a successful inventor in his own right.
During thousands of years the Norse giants, with the divine old brutality of the cave-man in them, had their nightly wassail and carousal around the oaken table, in the glare of the great fire and under the flare of the torches, where they drank to one another's health and well-being until they fell under the table; [. . .]
While the hard-drinking Nordics were molding the world into a thing of beauty in their great hands, what were the non-drinking races doing? What were the teetotaling Mohamedan Arabs and Turks and the Buddhist East Indians doing? What were the abstemious Chinese doing? What were four-fifths of the rest of the human race, who were abstemious in the use of alcohol doing, while these Nordic sots were conquering savage races, reclaiming wild domains and building empires? I, for one, am willing to risk for the sake of good fellowship and a good time, a little of the light alcoholic stimulants with which the great Nordic people soused themselves for thousands of years without apparent harm.
Guilt-wracked, self-hating Puritan?
The August 21, 1921, New York Tribune features a letter to the editor arguing against Prohibition in the following terms.