A Short History of the American Stomach

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Harcourt, 2008 - Cooking - 205 pages
3 Reviews
The extremes of American eating--our separate-but-equal urges to stuff and to starve ourselves--are easy to blame on the excesses of modern living. But Frederick Kaufman followed the winding road of the American intestine back to that cold morning when the first famished Pilgrim clambered off the Mayflower, and he discovered the alarming truth: We've been this way all along. With outraged wit and an incredible range of sources that includes everything from Cotton Mather's diary to interviews with Amish black-market raw-milk dealers, Kaufman offers a highly selective, take-no-prisoners tour of American history by way of the American stomach. Travel with him as he tracks down our earliest foodies; discovers the secret history of Puritan purges; introduces diet gurus of the nineteenth century, such as William Alcott, who believed that ̉nothing ought to be mashed before it is eatenÓ; traces extreme feeders from Paul Bunyan to eating-contest champ Dale Boone (descended from Daniel, of course); and investigates our blithe efforts to re-create plants and animals that we've eaten to the point of extinction.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cissa - LibraryThing

An entertaining read, as it wanders wildly throughout various aspects of history to make the author's points about the way food influences our behavior and the USA's character. A lack of notes ... Read full review

Readable Feast February 2008

User Review  - Caitlin C, Marketing - Borders

What is your gut telling you? Go with your gut instinct. It takes guts! The lowly gut; a body part that is rarely in the forefront of our minds outside of such unpleasantness as hunger, magnitude, or ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Frederick Kaufman is a professor of English at the City University of New York and CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism. He has written about American food culture and other subjects for Harper's Magazine, the New Yorker, Gourmet, Gastronomica, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. He lives in New York.

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