Anna Zeide, "US History in 15 Foods" (Bloomsbury, 2023)


From whiskey in the American Revolution to Spam in WWII, food reveals a great deal about the society in which it exists. Selecting 15 foods that represent key moments in the history of the United States, this book takes readers from before European colonization to the present, narrating major turning points along the way, with food as a guide.

US History in 15 Foods (Bloomsbury, 2023) takes everyday items like wheat bread, peanuts, and chicken nuggets, and shows the part they played in the making of America. What did the British colonists think about the corn they observed Indigenous people growing? How are oranges connected to Roosevelt's New Deal? And what can green bean casserole tell us about gender roles in the mid-20th century? Weaving food into colonialism, globalization, racism, economic depression, environmental change and more, Anna Zeide shows how America has evolved through the food it eats.

Anna Zeide is Associate Professor of History and the founding director of the Food Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, USA. She has previously written Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry (2018), which won a 2019 James Beard Media Award, and co-edited Acquired Tastes: Stories about the Origins of Modern Food (2021). Twitter. Website

Brian Hamilton is chair of the Department of History and Social Science at Deerfield Academy. Twitter. Website.

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Brian Hamilton

Brian Hamilton is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he is researching African American environmental history. A Maine native, he lives in Western Massachusetts and chairs the History and Social Science Department at Deerfield Academy.

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