From Publishers Weekly
Foreign affairs analyst Fair combines current events, history and cookery in this unorthodox book. Provoked by Bush's 2002 State of the Union address and her brothers' call-up by the National Guard, she posits that one way to a more tolerant post-9/11 world might be through the stomach. The author takes on 10 countries: the axis of evil triad of North Korea, Iran and Iraq; global players like Israel and China; alleged thorns-in-freedom's-side like Pakistan, and finally the Great Satan, the U.S. She compiles dossiers of perfidy—a history of each nation's geopolitical sins—followed by culinary plans of attack. The research and experience backing the dossiers is considerable, if filtered through a shrill, leftist-corrective sensibility. The representative recipes, meanwhile, range from an Iraqi lamb and okra stew (Be warned: Okra is a finicky flora) to steamed Chinese eggplant and Kashmiri spiced tea. There's even Beer Butt Chicken to represent Uncle Sam. The genuine political and culinary passion don't organically connect; rather it's a crazy salad of dark leftist humor. Whether it's possible to laugh while despairing and cooking (the recent natural disasters particularly skew the tone of the chapters on Burma and China) remains to be seen. (Aug.)
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"Self-described 'think-tanker chick' Chris Fair has whipped up a creative cookbook concept."--USA Today
"I first met Chris Fair years ago in what could have been a staid, dull academic conference on one of the many troubled areas in the world. Ten minutes in the room with her, and I knew academe would never be the same--she can swear like a master sergeant, lifts weights for fun, and keeps pit bulls, to name just a few of her more endearing habits. In Cuisines of the Axis of Evil, Fair combines the culinary mastery of "Iron Chef" with the biting and acerbic wit of Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" in a snarky romp through some of the world's most picturesque and problematic hotspots. Imagine Julia Child, John Bolton, and Borat on a desert island, and you have the general tone of this creative, informative, and amusing look at the cuisines and policies of our enemies and our not-quite-friends. This could be the opening salvo by our next Secretary of State."--Timothy Hoyt, academic, musician, and occasional anarchist (US Naval War College)
"Chris Fair's treatise on America's enemies--real and imagined--is just the remedy and recipe for a host of foreign policy failures. Especially tasty is her menu to celebrate the ignonimous end of our fifty year showdown with the demon island of Cuba with its dangerous culinary arsenal of sugar, rum, and coffee."--Ann Louise Bardach, author of Cuba Confidential and Without Fidel