Leona Rittner, W. Scott Haine, and Jeffrey H. Jackson, eds. “The Thinking Space” (Ashgate, 2013)
Believe it or not, the origins of this podcast and the entire New Books Network can be traced to a conversation I had in a cafein Ann Arbor, Michigan (Sweetwaters in Kerrytown, as it happens) in 2004. I was sitting there minding my own business when I overheard Ed Vielmetti... Read More
Allen Salkin “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network” (Putnam, 2013)
When I was growing up the only cooking show on TV I remember was Julia Child. I sometimes watched “The French Chef,” not so much to learn anything about cooking, but rather just to watch Julia. She was a hoot. When I saw the famous “Saturday Night Live” in 1978,... Read More
Marlene Zuk, “Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live” (Norton, 2013)
The Hebrews called it “Eden.” The Greeks and Romans called it the “Golden Age.” The philosophes–or Rousseau at least–called it the “State of Nature.” Marx and Engels called it “Primitive Communism.” The underlying notion, however, is the same: there was a time, long ago, when things were much better than... Read More
E. C. Spary, “Eating the Enlightenment: Food and the Sciences in Paris, 1670-1760” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
By focusing on food and eating from the dinner table to the laboratory, E. C. Spary‘s new book shows how an increasingly public culture of knowledge shaped the daily lives of literate Parisians in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Spary’s work is at the same time a rich and... Read More
Barak Kushner, “Slurp!: A Social and Culinary History of Ramen – Japan’s Favorite Noodle Soup” (Global Oriental, 2012)
I bet you’ve never heard of the “Smash the Baltic Fleet Memorial Togo Marshmallow.” I hadn’t either, before reading Barak Kushner‘s lively and illuminating new book on the history of ramen in Japan. Grounded in ample research that incorporates archival and ethnographic methods, Slurp!: A Social and Culinary History of... Read More
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