New Books Network

Alyshia Gálvez, “Eating NAFTA: Trade, Food Policies, and the Destruction of Mexico” (U. California Press, 2018)
The North American Free Trade Agreement—or NAFTA, as we Americans call it—is very much in the news of late, primarily because President Trump has decided to make good on what he famously called “the single worst trade deal” that the United States has ever approved. Trump’s assessment, like so many... Read More
Shachar M. Pinsker, “A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture” (NYU Press, 2018)
The café, long a European institution, was also a stimulant and a refuge for European Jewish culture. In cities across Europe, and later in Palestine, Israel, and the United States, Jewish journalists, poets, and thinkers gathered in cafés to socialize, argue, create, and simply to be in a space that... Read More
Kelley Fanto Deetz, “Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine” (UP of Kentucky, 2017)
The concept of “Southern hospitality” began to take form in the late eighteenth century and became especially associated with Virginia’s grand plantations. This state was home to many of our founding fathers. Their galas, balls, feasts, and entertainments became famous internationally as well as at home. On whose shoulders did... Read More
Norah MacKendrick, “Better Safe Than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics” (U California Press, 2018).
Consumers today have a lot of choices. Whether in stores or online, people are inundated by an abundance of options for what to buy. At the same time, the products we consume seem to have more and more ingredients, additives, and chemicals in them that put our health at risk,... Read More
Adrienne Rose Bitar, “Diet and the Disease of Civilization” (Rutgers UP, 2018)
Diet books are a multi-billion dollar industry and in Diet and the Disease of Civilization (Rutgers University Press, 2018), Adrienne Rose Bitar explores the narratives of those books. Bitar looks at the ways in which diet books not only present American’s with dieting advice, but also create cultural narratives about... Read More
Jeff Koelher, “Where the Wild Coffee Grows: The Untold Story of Coffee from the Cloud Forests of Ethiopia to Your Cup” (Bloomsbury, 2017)
Is life without coffee possible? Before you answer, first admit that you know almost nothing about the plant that you depend on to deliver you conscious into your day. You will learn from Jeff Koehler’s wide-ranging history Where the Wild Coffee Grows: The Untold Story of Coffee from the Cloud... Read More
Anna Zeide, “Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry” (U California Press, 2018)
Most everything Americans eat today comes out of cans. Some of it emerges from the iconic steel cylinders and much of the rest from the mammoth processed food empire the canning industry pioneered. Historian Anna Zeide, in Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry... Read More