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Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity Hardcover – November 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0252024191 ISBN-10: 0252024192

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252024192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252024191
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,258,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An important book. More so than any other work in food history, Bentley has put politics, both local and national, into the history of foodways... Her analysis of rhetoric, posters, advertisements, photography, table settings, and arrangement of people at dinners enables her to explore eating as a cultural activity. Above all, her weaving of social history, public policy, and anthropologically-informed cultural analysis underscores the complexity of her achievement." -- Daniel Horowitz, American Quarterly

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Ferrett on November 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of the people who were most affected by food rationing--the housewives who had to provide healthy meals for their families--are gone now. Everyone remembers Rosie the Riveter, but few remember the Domestic Army, and the propaganda that accompanied the policies of the Office of Price Administration, by the government, and more importantly by Madison Avenue. This book looks at the mechanics of mandatory food rationing, and then considers the politics and propaganda involved in making food rationing work.

The book is filled with a variety of examples of government rhetoric, Madison Avenue advertising, cookbook instructions, radio broadcasts, diaries, letters, posters, and comments. The scope of research involved in this study is staggering. The book is very well written. It is often difficult to turn a dissertation into an interesting book, but Amy Bentley has succeeded admirably. There are a number of intersting photographs and illustrations, although I would have liked to see even more. This is a fascinating book, and deserving of a much larger audience.
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By diane lord on May 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book discusses how we approached food and eating during WWII. From Victory Gardens to government rationing, we see how everyone pulled together to get creative with shopping, growing, eating and canning as a community, something we just don't see today.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jayne MacManus on December 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
During World War II, the United States didn't ration their food as long or as desperately as the Brits and other Europeans had to. It's still interesting to see what the home front had to make do with.In "Eating for Victory", baking gets the political treatment as a point of women's rights and also as propaganda by the government and media to keep women in traditional roles. The skillful, well-dressed homemaker associated most often with 1950s TV moms like June Cleaver is really the Wartime Homemaker.As a reader, one's context of time needs re-adjustment. It used to be the Basic Seven, not the Four Food Groups. People didn't know eating habits could lead to heart disease, and dieting was not in the national mania for women.Perhaps the biggest time warp is understanding the uproar over African American women leaving domestic "Mammy" jobs in affluent homes for higher paying war work. Fathoming that old-world structure of educated women feeling "put-out" and oblivious or resentful of the cultural liberation going on -- it's a real step back in time and mores. (Imagine if Renée on the current TV show "Ally McBeal" were the live-in maid and not Ally's best-friend /roommate / fellow-lawyer.) Amy Bentley's style doesn't escape the scholarly soundbites and droning hum of dissertations. There's enough homey details, however, to make it tolerable. And clearly, Bentley's given her subject careful thought and personal investment. Not every woman was Rosie the Riveter or a Pin-up Girl, but every Rosie and Pin-up was a Wartime Homemaker to some degree. Bentley's book is one of the few to recognize this and to give it due credit.
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