"Much about nineteenth-century saloons may have been sordid and squalid, but Ade knew how to find their charm, even their joy. He’s a wonderful reading companion—and I bet he would have been pretty great to drink with, too."
—Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call

"Ade was an American humorist who wrote literature for daily newspapers, back when such a thing could be imagined. . . . He was poet laureate of the live ones, and a distant ancestor of Rocky and Bullwinkle."
—Luc Sante, HiLobrow



Not Wet‒Not Dry, Just History
George Ade
{Introduced and Annotated by Bill Savage}

Domestic Publication Date: 15 November 2016 | International Publication Date: 12 December 2016
224 pages | 4 halftones, 8 line drawings | 5 x 7 3/8 | ISBN-13: 978-0-226-41230-6 | Paper $15.00/₤10.50


A long-lost gem from one of the most popular and eloquent newspaper humorists of his time, this tongue-incheek, Prohibition-era masterwork of restrained wit and thinly veiled love for the wonderfully corrupting influence of “Alcoholic Drink” pays homage to the sudsy saloons of the late nineteenth century, where gentleman gathered for free lunches and the conversation was as salty as the sardines. But in our age of microbrews, craft brews, and home brews, of locally sourced botanicals and artisanal distilleries, George Ade’s exploration of the “scaly orthopoid monster known as the Saloon Business” has unusual potency. Featuring an introduction and enlightening annotations by writer and former bartender Bill Savage, Ade’s quip-filled exploration of these bibulous institutions of community offers deep insight into our ever evolving relationship to Drink.

Born and educated in Indiana but a long-time Chicagoan, George Ade (1866‒1944) was a prolific journalist, a Broadway playwright, and a humorist whose newspaper columns, Fables in Slang and Stories of the Streets and of the Town, were syndicated nationally, collected in books, and produced as films, some of which Ade directed. Bill Savage is associate professor of instruction in the Department of English at Northwestern University, as well as a bartender emeritus. He is available for interviews.

Please contact Nicholas Lilly at 773.702.7490 or nlilly@uchicago.edu for more information.

Further Praise for The Old-Time Saloon

“[One of the] books we can’t wait to read: the back half of 2016 edition.”
Chicago Reader


“Ade amuses with his dry humor on a wet topic. . . . The book discusses every phase of the saloon and every type of saloon, from the ornate and opulent place, like the Waldorf or the Knickerbocker, to the dive on the corner and the old-fashioned roadhouse.”
Brooklyn Daily Eagle


“Ade writes the present little volume as an expert to inform the young of the sin and wickedness they missed by being born too late.”
New York Times


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