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What's Cooking?: The History of American Food (People's History) Hardcover – February 6, 2001
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-This look at food from the early 1600s to the present day reveals a spirit of independence and flexible adaptation in American tastes and a strong link between what we eat as a nation and how much technology we have incorporated into our daily lives. Whitman examines the impact of agricultural methods; transportation; and the development of machinery, food processing, and preservation methods on the variety of foods in our diet over time. Economic hardship during the Great Depression and the rationing mandated during wars is considered, as are the effects of other historical events and trends. The author also discusses the influences of mass marketing and advertising and brand names and franchising. In its broader look at the American diet, this clearly written volume also offers a concise overview of American history. Sepia-toned photographs and reproductions illustrate the book. The "Exploring History through Simple Recipes" series (Blue Earth) focuses on specific periods and/or locations in American history and will complement Whitman's straightforward approach.
Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7-10. Traditional history books may offer only a casual glance at food and its preparation through the ages, but this volume is devoted entirely to America's love affair with eating. And it's not frivolous. Whitman explores how food reflects and influences culture. From the hoe cakes, salt pork, and wild game that the first English settlers and the Native Americans shared to today's fast foods, each chapter focuses on a period of history, discussing everything from diet to food processing and preparation. Discussion of a variety of social issues--for example, the use of pesticides--gives the book even more depth. The text is very accessible, and there are many interesting black-and-white photographs. Give this to readers interested in culinary history as well as those researching history in general: it's intriguing as well as informative. Heather Hepler
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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