"As lucid as it is authoritative . . . A triumph, pointing the way to a wholly new kind of historiography that can hold its own with more familiar work on political, economic, social, and intellectual history." G.W. Bowersock. New York Review of Books, August 14, 2014.
"Wonderful . . . There is nothing argumentative or prescriptive about her book . . . but in our current American historical moment it seems breathtakingly transgressive . . .What I appreciate about Laudan is her perspective." (Lydia Kiesling. The Millions. 2014-01-24).
Fantastic read, immensely well researched and so accessible. Love it! (Maria Speck, author Ancient Grains for Modern Kitchens)
"Passionate arguments . . . engaging personal observations . . . graceful writing." (Washington Independent Review of Books. 21 Nov. 3013).
"During my forty year culinary career, there have been a select number of books that became touchstones, volumes that seemed to arrive just when inspiration was needed or direction was appropriate, books that somehow enhanced my sense of having found my calling. The newest addition to the list is a work of culinary history by Rachel Laudan."--Virginia B. Wood"The Austin Chronicle, on the range" (10/17/2013)
"To her impressively thorough research Laudan brings a lifetime that has included practical experience on the farm, in the kitchen, and in the classroom. This means that her exposition is as lucid as it is authoritative. Her bibliography and notes bear witness to her deep learning, and her book, in its scope and originality, gives deserved prominence to a long-neglected theme in world history. It is a triumph, pointing the way to a wholly new kind of historiography that can hold its own with more familiar work on political, economic, social, and intellectual history."--G. W. Bowersock"New York Review of Books" (07/29/2014)
"A remarkably detailed, generously illustrated and professionally written nonjudgmental history of the evolution of the world s cuisines . . . Laudan enlivens the pages with specifics of familiar and unfamiliar foods."--Harvey Finkel"Massachusetts Beverage Business" (10/01/2015)"
"Innovative narrative... Impressively detailed, extraordinarily well-written, deftly organized and presented."Cuisine and Empure: Cooking in World History"is a seminal work of outstanding scholarship, remarkably informed and informative."--Helen Dumont"The Midwest Book Review" (09/01/2015)"
From the Inside Flap
Magnificent. . . . Some of Laudan’s diffusion maps’ of particular styles of cuisine are miniature masterpieces of cultural history. Peter Thonemann, Times Literary Supplement
"Rachel Laudan combines an impressive grasp of global history with a deep appreciation of the world's cuisines in all their glorious diversity. Readers who love food will find Cuisine and Empire both informative and entertaining." Daniel Headrick, author of Power over Peoples: Technology, Environments, and Western Imperialism, 1400 to the Present
"Few writers could tackle the sweeping subject matter of Cuisine and Empire with such grace and authority as Rachel Laudan. She rises to this challenge with fresh insights and a global perspective on our attitudes to food. This book is not to be missed by food historians and lovers of good eating." Anne Willan, author of The Cookbook Library: Four Centuries of the Cooks, Writers, and Recipes That Made the Modern Cookbook
Rachel Laudan offers a remarkable and always fascinating account of the rise and fall of cuisines, giving equal time to every part of the globe and situating the modern period within the much longer history of how people have gone about preparing food. The focus on cooking and cuisine demonstrates the durability of tastes, but also how such tastes are spread and influenced by political and cultural expansion. Cuisine and Empire is a riveting and unique combination of culinary ideas and exposition on the materiality of eating.” Paul Freedman, editor of Food: The History of Taste
In this groundbreaking book, Rachel Laudan takes a distinctive approach to the development and expression of food cultures throughout human history. She describes successive models of foodways that illuminate different periods and places, underpinned by persuasive historical analysis. Both general readers and professional historians will feel challenged by her arguments to integrate food and its culture into their thinking about human history, not just as an afterthought but as an essential tool of understanding and explanation.” Naomi Duguid, author of Burma: Rivers of Flavor