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One Man's Meat Paperback – June 1, 2003


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Frequently Bought Together

One Man's Meat + Essays of E. B. White (Perennial Classics) + E. B. White on Dogs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers; 13th edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884481921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884481928
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Angell writes of White in the foreword:'I think One Man's Meat was the making of him as a writer...'" -- Publishers Weekly, July 21, 1997

"Great writing like White's is timeless - a description that also fits Maine." -- Maine Sunday Telegram, July 19, 1998

"Modest in its size and presumptions, engaging in tone...resisted becoming historic...nonstop run of 55 years in print." -- New York TImes Book Review, August 3, 1997

"This remarkable body of writing stands today, after half a century, as one of the greatest books ever written..." -- DownEast Magazine, December 1997

"collection of essays...captures themes...present with us today in the conflicts between war and peace, freedom and protection." -- Mainebiz, June 21, 2004

From the Publisher

First published in 1944, this classic collection of enduring commentaries is reissued here with a new introduction by the author. "Superb reading."--The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

E.B. White, the author of twenty books of prose and poetry, was awarded the 1970 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for his children's books, Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web. This award is now given every three years "to an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have, over a period of years, make a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children." The year 1970 also marked the publication of Mr. White's third book for children, The Trumpet of the Swan, honored by The International Board on Books for Young People as an outstanding example of literature with international importance. In 1973, it received the Sequoyah Award (Oklahoma) and the William Allen White Award (Kansas), voted by the school children of those states as their "favorite book" of the year.

Born in Mount Vernon, New York, Mr. White attended public schools there. He was graduated from Cornell University in 1921, worked in New York for a year, then traveled about. After five or six years of trying many sorts of jobs, he joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine, then in its infancy. The connection proved a happy one and resulted in a steady output of satirical sketches, poems, essays, and editorials. His essays have also appeared in Harper's Magazine, and his books include One Man's Meat, The Second Tree from the Corner, Letters of E.B. White, The Essays of E.B. White and Poems and Sketches of E.B. White. In 1938 Mr. White moved to the country. On his farm in Maine he kept animals, and some of these creatures got into his stories and books. Mr. White said he found writing difficult and bad for one's disposition, but he kept at it. He began Stuart Little in the hope of amusing a six-year-old niece of his, but before he finished it, she had grown up.

For his total contribution to American letters, Mr. White was awarded the 1971 National Medal for Literature. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy named Mr. White as one of thirty-one Americans to receive the Presidential Medal for Freedom. Mr. White also received the National Institute of Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Essays and Criticism, and in 1973 the members of the Institute elected him to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a society of fifty members. He also received honorary degrees from seven colleges and universities. Mr. White died on October 1, 1985.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It's a rare and wonderful combination.
Daniel R. Wilson
This collection of essays is such a fine book; it deserves a much better commentary than it currently has here.
Ronald Scheer
You can read the book straight through, open it up and read it starting anywhere.
Making Art

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on October 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
This collection of essays is such a fine book; it deserves a much better commentary than it currently has here. And given the times we live in, its subject matter is particularly timely for American readers -- the period of history leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the early years of the war effort -- all told from the point of view of a thoughtful writer on a small farm in Maine.
White had moved there with his wife and young son from New York, where he'd been writing for The New Yorker, and took up country living, turning his attention to the annual round of the seasons, farm work, the nearby seaside, and the company of independent rural people. Most of the essays in this collection were written and published monthly in Harpers from July 1938 to January 1943. In them, there is White's awareness of the ominous threat of fascism emerging in Europe, as well as the vulnerability that Americans felt as they found themselves facing prolonged armed conflict with powerful enemies. These were dark days, and they provide a constant undertone in these otherwise upbeat essays about rural and small-town life.
And they are upbeat, celebrating the pleasures and gentle ironies of daily life with a few side trips into the world beyond -- the birth of a lamb, paying taxes, farm dogs, hay fever, raising chickens, Sunday mornings, radio broadcasts, civil defense drills, a visit to Walden pond, a day at the World's Fair, and unrealistic Hollywood portrayals of the pastoral. There is also here his famous essay "Once More to the Lake."
In many ways, the world he writes about is gone forever. But it's a world whose spirit remains at the heart of the national identity -- participatory democracy, individualism, citizenship, self-discovery, and self-reliance.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
Understanding E.B. White is not an easy task. He was a reserved man, very straightforward in his writing and simple in nature. However, White found that he was able to express himself with his writing, and none of his books is a more direct window into his soul than "One Man's Meat." Written over the course of White's later years of living on a Maine farm, this book contains witty accounts of geographic novelty, reminiscences on the promise of youth, and powerful insights into the little things in life that can make all the difference. No reader of E.B. White can gain a full knowledge of what the man was all about without having thoroughly digested this book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Daniel R. Wilson on July 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
E. B. White's essays are sweet and courageous. It's a rare and wonderful combination. They are also, to use that severely abused word, poignant, which means, painfully affecting the feelings. Consider the opening line to the essay, World War I: "I keep forgetting that soldiers are so young." He wrote that line in 1939. I think of that every day in the context of Iraq and Afghanistan.

One Man's Meat, first published in 1942, is the companion volume to the Essays of E. B. White. Both books include his classic, Once More to the Lake, an essay about taking his own son to the lake that made such an impression on him when he was taken there by his own father. There is minimal overlap between the two books.

In 1940 he lamented the effects of the automobile on community life: "Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car." This book also includes the best thing I have ever read about poetry. Poems must be short, he said, because, "Poetry is intensity, and nothing is intense for long."

One of the things that struck me most in this group of essays was his statement about writers, since I am one. He wrote: "In a free country it is the duty of writers to pay no attention to duty." I love this man.

I could rant on for hours about the joy of reading this book, but it's better that you spend your time reading his work instead of mine.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Concise Critic: on February 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
An experience awaits you.

(I recently overheard, or saw only in my peripheral vision, or almost read a comment by a professor of literature. "I would give anything," he said, "for the pleasure of reading 'Romeo and Juliet' again for the first time.")

That experience awaits you here. That experience and the companion experience that the sly, lively E.B. White is just behind you, just over your shoulder as you read. The words are that alive.

Listen to Mr. White contemplate as he attempts to complete a government questionnaire: "Under JOB FOR WHICH YOU ARE BEST FITTED I wrote "Editor and writer." Under JOB FOR WHICH YOU ARE NEXT BEST FITTED I wrote "Poultryman and farmer." But I realize . . .it is hard to tell about fitness. Physically I am better fitted for writing than for farming, because farming takes great strength and great endurance. Intellectually I am better fitted for farming than writing."

That, for me, was the best of many extraordinary lines in one of many exceptional paragraphs in one of many excellent essays.

I have a habit of dog-earring pages of books where I feel wisdom is revealed. No book I have read in the last few years has as many pages folded over as this book of essays.

Read. Enjoy. Have that wonderful first experience. Allow in this avuncular Yankee; he will live in you forever more.
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