A Woman Soldier's Own Story: The Autobiography of Xie Bingying

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Columbia University Press, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 281 pages
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Sugar, pork, beer, corn, cider, scrapple, and hoppin' John all became staples in the diet of colonial America. The ways Americans cultivated and prepared food and the values they attributed to it played an important role in shaping the identity of the newborn nation. In A Revolution in Eating, James E. McWilliams presents a colorful and spirited tour of culinary attitudes, tastes, and techniques throughout colonial America.

Confronted by strange new animals, plants, and landscapes, settlers in the colonies and West Indies found new ways to produce food. Integrating their British and European tastes with the demands and bounty of the rugged American environment, early Americans developed a range of regional cuisines. From the kitchen tables of typical Puritan families to Iroquois longhouses in the backcountry and slave kitchens on southern plantations, McWilliams portrays the grand variety and inventiveness that characterized colonial cuisine. As colonial America grew, so did its palate, as interactions among European settlers, Native Americans, and African slaves created new dishes and attitudes about food. McWilliams considers how Indian corn, once thought by the colonists as "fit for swine," became a fixture in the colonial diet. He also examines the ways in which African slaves influenced West Indian and American southern cuisine.

While a mania for all things British was a unifying feature of eighteenth-century cuisine, the colonies discovered a national beverage in domestically brewed beer, which came to symbolize solidarity and loyalty to the patriotic cause in the Revolutionary era. The beer and alcohol industry also instigated unprecedented trade among the colonies and further integrated colonial habits and tastes. Victory in the American Revolution initiated a "culinary declaration of independence," prompting the antimonarchical habits of simplicity, frugality, and frontier ruggedness to define American cuisine. McWilliams demonstrates that this was a shift not so much in new ingredients or cooking methods, as in the way Americans imbued food and cuisine with values that continue to shape American attitudes to this day.

  

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User Review  - autumnesf - LibraryThing

This is a book about a young girl that came of age when the armies started taking women and things began to change for women in China. Girl rejects traditional marriage (not a bad thing) and ends up ... Read full review

A woman soldier's own story: the autobiography of Xie Bingying

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The efforts of women to emancipate themselves from restrictive social and family bonds is one of the central themes of modern Chinese history. A high degree of grit, intelligence, perseverance, and ... Read full review

Contents

PART 1 Childhood
1
School
18
War
51
Prison
92
Farewell Changsha
147
PART 6 Shanghai Days
179
Beijing
200
Japanese Attack
222
A Traveling Life
236
Days of War
270
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.

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