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The Turkey: AN AMERICAN STORY (The Food Series) Hardcover – September 22, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Food historian Smith, editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, discusses both fact and myth in this thorough and multifaceted history of the turkey. Smith believes the quintessentially American bird (we consume 240 million of them a year) can tell us about cultural issues and reveal something about being American. Dividing the book into a section on the turkey's history and another on historical recipes, the author hopes to give a comprehensive accounting of the bird. Beginning with a scientific description, the historical section covers turkey bones found in North America dating to 3700 B.C., then moves on to the introduction of domesticated turkeys into Europe by explorers of the New World. Methods of cooking from the 16th through the 19th centuries and efforts to preserve the disappearing wild turkey in the early 20th century follow. Even the turkey trot gets a mention. Short chapter sections keep the reading flowing, but the eye-glazing number of facts and dry prose can be overwhelming. Still, Smith has produced a well-researched, comprehensive, though somewhat scattered account of the bird most people take for granted. 22 photos. (Nov.)
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"The Turkey pulls together an impressive array of historical sources into an engaging, in-depth survey of the natural, culinary and 'social' history of he turkey." Kathleen Curtin, author of Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie

Product Details

More About the Author

Andrew F. Smith has taught food studies at the New School since 1996. His various courses have included food controversies, food history, food writing and culinary luminaries. He is the author or editor of twenty-eight books, including the award-winning Oxford Encyclopedia on Food and Drink in America (OUP, 2013), Sugar: A Global History (Reaktion, April 2015) and Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City (Oxford University Press, November 2015). He is currently under contract to write a three-volume reference work on food controversies related to the environment, health and the economy. He serves as the editor for the "Edible Series" and the "Food Controversies Series" at Reaktion Books in the United Kingdom. He has written more than five hundred articles in academic journals, popular magazines and newspapers, and has served as a consultant to several television series, including the six-episode series, "Eat: The Story of Food," that aired on the National Geographic Channel in the fall of 2014. Formerly, he directed the Center for Teaching International Relations at the University of Denver, and has directed several national and international non-for-profit organizations. For more about him, visit his website:

Andrew F. Smith has delivered more than fifteen hundred presentations on various educational, historical, and international topics, and has organized seventy-three major conferences. He has been frequently interviewed by and quoted in newspapers, journals and magazines, such as the New York Times, New Yorker, Reader's Digest, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Fortune Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. I have been regularly interviewed on radio and television, including National Public Radio and the Food Network.

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