Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008 - Business & Economics - 402 pages
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InRaising Steaks,Betty Fussell saddles up for a spirited ride across America on the trail of our most iconic food. When we bite into a steak's charred crust and pink interior, Fussell finds that we bite into contradictions that have branded our national identity from the start. We taste the colliding fantasies of British pastoralists and Spanish ranchers that erupted in land wars between a wet-weather East and a desert West. We savor the ideas of wilderness and progress that clashed when we replaced buffalo with cattle, and then cowboys with industrial machines. We take in the contradictions of rugged individualism and the corporate technology that we use to breed, feed, slaughter, package, and distribute the animals we turn into meat. And we participate--as do the cattlemen and chefs, feedlot operators and rodeo stars, boot makers and scientists Fussell talks with--in the mythology that inspires cowboys to become technocrats and presidents to play cowboy. Raising Steaksis a celebration of, and an elegy for, a uniquely American Dream.

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RAISING STEAKS: The Life and Times of American Beef

User Review  - Kirkus

Food writer, historian and "full red-blooded carnivore" Fussell (Masters of American Cookery, 2006, etc.) finds beef, specifically steak, to be the most American of foods.It is, like us, "mobile ... Read full review


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These two books examine the vital role the cow has played throughout the history of humans. Journalist Rimas and social scientist Fraser deliver in broad strokes the history of the cow from its ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

BETTY FUSSELL is the author of ten previous books, including The Story of Corn and My Kitchen Wars. A contributor to the New York Times, the New Yorker, Saveur, Food & Wine, Gastronomica, and other publications, she has also lectured widely on food history. Western born, she lives in New York City.

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