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White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf Hardcover – March 6, 2012
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2012: It's in, it's out, it's good for you, it's bad for you: over the last hundred years, bread has gone from industrial-strength cure-all to nutritionless fluff, and every place in between. White Bread is Aaron Bobrow-Strain's look at the central place of bread, not just on the American table but also in its discussions about morality, class, race, and the environment. Bobrow-Strain takes readers from the immigrant-run bakeries of the 1900s, which were associated with unsafe bread, to the shining promise of industrially-made loaves that could bolster Americans against communism, to the brown-bread revolution of the '70s and '80s. Along the way, Bobrow-Strain shows that the history of bread was leavened with good intentions and ironclad convictions--many of which succumbed to the ageless hobgoblin of unintended consequences. Entertaining for fans of history, food, and the history of food, White Bread reveals yet another facet to the ever-complicated world of what we eat. --Darryl Campbell
“This terrific book does for the humble loaf what Mark Kurlansky does for cod.” —Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved
“This is entertaining history and an example of food studies in action.” —Marion Nestle, Food Politics blog
“As Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows ... the lowly loaf is so much more than the sum of its simple parts.” —Jesse Rhodes, Smithsonian’s Food and Think blog
“I was hooked a few pages in, and devoured White Bread cover to cover.”—Whole Grains Council
“Whatever you think of white bread, its history is full of surprises. And Bobrow-Strain shares this history with wit, style, and imagination. This is a richly researched and cleverly told story.”—PopMatters.com
"This book provides an enlightening take on bread's social and cultural value. Bobrow-Strain blends academic rigor with a friendly, insightful tone, making White Bread the best thing since...well, never mind."—Serious Eats
"Written by a seasoned baker, White Bread is both an epic, often funny history of the industrial loaf and a wise commentary on today's polarized food politics. Tear into it."—Susanne Freidberg, author of Fresh: A Perishable History
“In clear prose that is both muscular and nuanced, Aaron Bobrow-Strain bravely leads us into the belly of the corporate beast to confront the consummate processed food, archetype of everything not whole, crunchy, or virtuous. We emerge with a much better understanding of the staff of life, along with startling insights into our political, economic, military, and environmental crises.”—Warren Belasco, Author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry
“Aaron Bobbrow-Strain has accomplished a difficult task: White Bread is imaginative, scholarly, yet totally accessible. Any reader who cherishes bread and all the issues it touches as a powerful social and aspirational metaphor will love this book.”—Peter Reinhart, baker and author of Artisan Breads Everyday
"A really good read"–Mother Earth News
"Highly recommended. General and undergraduate collections and up."—Choice Magazine
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If you can get past all the political blather there is some quality material here.
The book could be 1/3 the length and much more interesting.
If you like your facts served up with a hefty helping of modern, American, collegiate social liberalism then this is the book for you!