Throughout history, food has done more than simply provide sustenance. It has acted as a tool of social transformation, political organization, geopolitical competition, industrial development, military conflict and economic expansion. In An Edible History of Humanity Tom Standage serves up a hugely satisfying account of ways in which food has, indirectly, helped to shape and transform societies around the world. It is a dazzling account of gastronomic revolutions from pre-history to the present.
The New York Times Bestseller “There aren't many books this entertaining that also provide a cogent crash course in ancient, classical and modern history.” -Los Angeles Times Beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and Coca-Cola: In Tom Standage's deft, innovative account of world history, these six beverages turn out to be much more than just ways to quench thirst. They also represent six eras that span the course of civilization-from the adoption of agriculture, to the birth of cities, to the advent of globalization. A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the twenty-first century through each epoch's signature refreshment. As Standage persuasively argues, each drink is in fact a kind of technology, advancing culture and catalyzing the intricate interplay of different societies. After reading this enlightening book, you may never look at your favorite drink in quite the same way again.
“America’s story from 1898 to 1945 is nothing less than the triumph of American exceptionalism over liberal progressivism, despite a few temporary victories by the latter.” Conservative historian Larry Schweikart has won wide acclaim for his number one New York Times bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States. It proved that, contrary to the liberal biases in countless other history books, America had not really been founded on racism, sexism, greed, and oppression. Schweikart and coauthor Michael Allen restored the truly great achievements of America’s patriots, founders, and heroes to their rightful place of honor. Now Schweikart and coauthor Dave Dougherty are back with a new perspective on America’s half-century rise to the center of the world stage. This all-new volume corrects many of the biases that cloud the way people view the Treaty of Versailles, the Roaring Twenties, the Crash of 1929, the deployment of the atomic bomb, and other critical events in global history. Beginning with the Spanish-American War— which introduced the United States as a global military power that could no longer be ignored—and continuing through the end of World War II, this book shows how a free, capitalist nation could thrive when put face-to-face with tyrannical and socialist powers. Schweikart and Dougherty narrate the many times America proved its dominance by upholding the principles on which it was founded—and struggled on the rare occasions when it strayed from those principles. The authors make a convincing case that America has constantly been a force for good in the world, improving standards of living, introducing innovations, guaranteeing liberty, and offering opportunities to those who had none elsewhere. They also illustrate how the country ascended to superpower status at the same time it was figuring out its own identity. While American ideals were defeating tyrants abroad, a constant struggle against progressivism was being waged at home, leading to the stumbles of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Despite this rocky entrance on the world stage, it was during this half century that the world came to embrace all things American, from its innovations and businesses to its political system and popular culture. The United States began to define what the rest of the world could emulate as the new global ideal. A Patriot’s History of the Modern World provides a new perspective on our extraordinary past—and offers lessons we can apply to preserve American exceptionalism today and tomorrow.
Today we are endlessly connected: constantly tweeting, texting or e-mailing. This may seem unprecedented, yet it is not. Throughout history, information has been spread through social networks, with far-reaching social and political effects. Writing on the Wall reveals how an elaborate network of letter exchanges forewarned of power shifts in Cicero's Rome, while the torrent of tracts circulating in sixteenth-century Germany triggered the Reformation. Standage traces the story of the rise, fall and rebirth of social media over the past 2,000 years offering an illuminating perspective on the history of media, and revealing that social networks do not merely connect us today – they also link us to the past.
A new paperback edition of the first book by the bestselling author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses-the fascinating story of the telegraph, the world's first "Internet," which revolutionized the nineteenth century even more than the Internet has the twentieth and twenty first.
Confederates in the Attic meets The Year of Living Biblically in a funny and original memoir In Arkansas, there is a full-scale Roman fort with catapults and ramparts. In Colorado, nearly a hundred men don Nazi uniforms to fight the battle of Stalingrad. On the St. Lawrence River, a group of dedicated history buffs row more slowly than they can walk—along with author Charlie Schroeder, who is sweating profusely and cursing the day he got a book deal. Taking readers on a figurative trip through time and a literal journey across America, Man of War details an ordinary guy's attempt to relearn history by experiencing it. Embedding with his fellow countrymen, Charlie Schroeder jumps headlong into the idiosyncratic world of historical reenactment. From encounters with wildlife and frostbite to learning more than he ever expected about guns, ammo, and buttons, Schroeder takes readers to the front lines of bloodless battles in order to show exactly how much the past has to teach us all about our present (and explain why anyone would choose to wear wool in a heat wave).
**Now a docu-series streaming on Netflix, starring Pollan as he explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exectuve produces the four-part series based on Pollan's book, and each episode will focus on a different natural element: fire, water, air, and earth. ** In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse–trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us. The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life. From the Trade Paperback edition.
American diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-consumed cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country's most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption. Engineered by a politically disenfranchised, numerically small, and economically exploited group, Chinese food's tour de America is an epic story of global cultural encounter. It reflects not only changes in taste but also a growing appetite for a more leisurely lifestyle. Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence but because of its affordability and convenience, which is why they preferred the quick and simple dishes of China while shunning its haute cuisine. Epitomized by chop suey, American Chinese food was a forerunner of McDonald's, democratizing the once-exclusive dining-out experience for such groups as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews. The rise of Chinese food is also a classic American story of immigrant entrepreneurship and perseverance. Barred from many occupations, Chinese Americans successfully turned Chinese food from a despised cuisine into a dominant force in the restaurant market, creating a critical lifeline for their community. Chinese American restaurant workers developed the concept of the open kitchen and popularized the practice of home delivery. They streamlined certain Chinese dishes, such as chop suey and egg foo young, turning them into nationally recognized brand names.
Each week during the growing season, farmers’ markets offer up such delicious treasures as brandywine tomatoes, cosmic purple carrots, pink pearl apples, and chioggia beets—varieties of fruits and vegetables that are prized by home chefs and carefully stewarded by farmers from year to year. These are the heirlooms and the antiques of the food world, endowed with their own rich histories. While cooking techniques and flavor fads have changed from generation to generation, a Ribston Pippin apple today can taste just as flavorful as it did in the eighteenth century. But how does an apple become an antique and a tomato an heirloom? In Edible Memory, Jennifer A. Jordan examines the ways that people around the world have sought to identify and preserve old-fashioned varieties of produce. In doing so, Jordan shows that these fruits and vegetables offer a powerful emotional and physical connection to a shared genetic, cultural, and culinary past. Jordan begins with the heirloom tomato, inquiring into its botanical origins in South America and its culinary beginnings in Aztec cooking to show how the homely and homegrown tomato has since grown to be an object of wealth and taste, as well as a popular symbol of the farm-to-table and heritage foods movements. She shows how a shift in the 1940s away from open pollination resulted in a narrow range of hybrid tomato crops. But memory and the pursuit of flavor led to intense seed-saving efforts increasing in the 1970s, as local produce and seeds began to be recognized as living windows to the past. In the chapters that follow, Jordan combines lush description and thorough research as she investigates the long history of antique apples; changing tastes in turnips and related foods like kale and parsnips; the movement of vegetables and fruits around the globe in the wake of Columbus; and the poignant, perishable world of stone fruits and tropical fruit, in order to reveal the connections—the edible memories—these heirlooms offer for farmers, gardeners, chefs, diners, and home cooks. This deep culinary connection to the past influences not only the foods we grow and consume, but the ways we shape and imagine our farms, gardens, and local landscapes. From the farmers’ market to the seed bank to the neighborhood bistro, these foods offer essential keys not only to our past but also to the future of agriculture, the environment, and taste. By cultivating these edible memories, Jordan reveals, we can stay connected to a delicious heritage of historic flavors, and to the pleasures and possibilities for generations of feasts to come.
The vibrant interest in food studies among both academics and amateurs has made food history an exciting field of investigation. Taking stock of three decades of groundbreaking multidisciplinary research, the book examines two broad questions: What has history contributed to the development of food studies? How have other disciplines - sociology, anthropology, literary criticism, science, art history - influenced writing on food history in terms of approach, methodology, controversies, and knowledge of past foodways? Essays by twelve prominent scholars provide a compendium of global and multicultural answers to these questions. The contributors critically assess food history writing in the United States, Africa, Mexico and the Spanish Diaspora, India, the Ottoman Empire, the Far East - China, Japan and Korea - Europe, Jewish communities and the Middle East. Several historical eras are covered: the Ancient World, the Middle Ages, Early Modern Europe and the Modern day. The book is a unique addition to the growing literature on food history. It is required reading for anyone seeking a detailed discussion of food history research in diverse times and places.