I found this unexpectedly in a book store while passing through Portland, Oregon. (Sample of local whiskey history: on the riverfront painted on the side of an old brick building: "Cyrus Noble - Old Goods" - rivers and whiskey always went together, in more ways than one).
This is an interesting and important book. There are many nuggets in it, e.g. whiskey was made and aged to be dark and rich in the late 1800's so it would stand up to being diluted with grain spirits, Col. Taylor was a non-imbiber, Elijah Craig's early role in whiskey was documented fairly early on (from mid-1800's), and much much more. The idea that bourbon was a development of river traders and middlemen comes through strongly in the book. Carson (I wonder if he is still living) has a real feel for his subject and a droll, amused, relaxed writing style which is perfectly suited thereto. Lots of good information in the book depite its age especially on the earlier history up to and after Prohibition. If there si one thing I'd have liekd to see more focus on it is the rye tradition in Pennsylvania, it is alluded to only briefly.