Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: Stories of Food During Wartime by the World's Leading Correspondents

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Matt McAllester
University of California Press, Oct 20, 2011 - Cooking - 214 pages
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"We read a lot, perhaps too much about ‘X-treme’ food and macho food adventures these days, but this anthology calls to mind a better side of the subject: by showing us how food affects us in the most improbable and resistant circumstances, it reminds us again and again of why eating is one of the great continuities of life, even in scary places with scary people and scary-seeming plates." —Adam Gopnik, author of The Table Comes First

“Compelling and powerful, these personal accounts by reporters assigned to hot spots from Haiti to Kosovo, from Rwanda to Kandahar, cut to the bone. They expose the hard truth that hunger for survival is as universal as battle, that food itself is a metaphor for war, and that eating is war by other means. This is a brilliant collection of stories that satisfies our hunger for words with the intensity of our hunger to live.” —Betty Fussell, author of My Kitchen Wars and Raising Steaks

“These are powerful, intimate stories from some of the best war correspondents of our time--the kind of stories they tell each other about everyday life in some of the most difficult places on Earth. By seducing you with simple tales of food, your defenses are down, you get lost in a good tale, and then, suddenly, you realize that you are fascinated by and finally understand a part of the world that had previously just been confusing and overwhelming. With one great read after another, you will remember these scenes, these characters, for a long time.” —Adam Davidson, founder and host, NPR's Planet Money

"The way to a nation's soul is through its stomach, and that is precisely the territory that these writers explore in this delightful anthology. Whether breaking bread with Palestinian militants, enduring army rations with US troops in Afghanistan or attempting to cook a turkey in Baghdad, they write with dollops of humanity, heapings of insight, and a dash of humor. Read this book but be forewarned: you’ll turn the last page hungry for more." —Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Bliss

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User Review  - B.Mayaluna - LibraryThing

I loved this book. It took me all over the world’s war zones of the past few decades through tales of local food, of eating and not eating during war. We are introduced to Benazir Bhutto, Kim Jong Il ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Matt McAllester is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a contributing editor at Details magazine. He is the author of Bittersweet: Lessons from My Mother s Kitchen, Blinded by Sunlight: Surviving Abu Graib and Saddam s Iraq, and Beyond the Mountains of the Damned: The War Inside Kosovo. He is also Visiting Professor of Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, where he teaches international reporting. His website is

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