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Paradox of Plenty: A Social History of Eating in Modern America, Revised Edition (California Studies in Food and Culture) Paperback – May 5, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0520234406 ISBN-10: 0520234405 Edition: First Edition, Revised Edition

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Paradox of Plenty: A Social History of Eating in Modern America, Revised Edition (California Studies in Food and Culture) + Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of the American Diet (California Studies in Food and Culture) + Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (California Studies in Food and Culture)
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Product Details

  • Series: California Studies in Food and Culture (Book 8)
  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, Revised Edition edition (May 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520234405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520234406
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Smoothly written and full of information, this ambitious history sometimes emphasizes detail at the expense of overarching themes. Levenstein ( Revolution at the Table ) begins with the Great Depression, moving chronologically and alternating between discussions of government policies for hunger-relief and the development of culinary tastes. The author resurrects much valuable material: how thiamine was promoted as the "morale vitamin during WW II"; how Italian-Americans, virtually alone among immigrants, resisted Americanization of their cuisine; how the 1950s were the "Golden Age for American food chemistry"; how the barbecue boom of the 1960s was the first step to men sharing cooking responsibilities; how Mexican food boomed not in the American Southwest but in New York City. Levenstein's discussion of the "plenty" is richer than his account of the "paradox"; a study of poverty food programs could have made a separate book. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In his lively, entertaining study of America's eating habits from 1930 to the present, Levenstein (history, McMaster Univ.) explores the disturbing existence of hunger in the midst of agricultural abundance. Describing the economic, political, and cultural factors that have influenced the American diet, he exposes the role that major food processors, the medical establishment, and the American government have played in modifying the taste buds and nutritional ideas of its citizens while ignoring the plight of its increasing numbers of malnourished poor. He also examines the national obsession with dieting and the impact on eating habits of married women entering the work force in record numbers. Well written and thoroughly researched, this overview gathers together information that many health and food enthusiasts will find interesting and enlightening.
- Linda Chopra, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book reviews the trends and changes of food in the USA from a cultural, nutritional, medical, and marketing standpoint in the 20th century.. Although the paragraphs are long and could be condensed, the effort to read this book gave me context as to why the average consumer is confused regarding nutrition and how status even applies to our dietary habits...... even if those habits are detrimental to our health.
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This is a truly compelling read; on every page is information that needs to be headline news! There needs to be a new edition now to highlight things that have changed.
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By summer ruf on January 30, 2013
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Who knew there was so much information on American eating habits. This book is bursting with facts and figures about the history of social eating.
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7 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Nadocrew on June 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to read this for my class, but it is a very interesting. If you are into the history of the American diet I would highly recommend this book.
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