How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2013 - History - 241 pages
How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture, by food and social historian Jennifer Wallach, sheds a new and interesting light on American history by way of the dinner table. It is, at once, a study of America's diverse culinary history and a look at the country's unique and unprecedented journey to the present day. While undeniably a "melting pot" of different cultures and cuisines, America's food habits have been shaped as much by technological innovations and industrial progress as by the intermingling and mixture of ethnic cultures. By studying what Americans have been eating since the colonial era, we are further enlightened to the conflicting ways in which Americans have chosen to define themselves, their culture, their beliefs, and the changes those definitions have undergone over time. Understanding the American diet is the first step toward grasping the larger truths, the complex American narratives that have long been swept under the table, and the evolving answers to the question: What does it mean to be American?

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1 The Cuisine of Contact
2 Food and the Founding
3 Foodways in an Era of Expansion and Immigration
4 Technology and Taste
5 Gender and the American Appetite
6 The Pious or Patriotic Stomach
7 Food Habits and Racial Thinking
8 The Politics of Food
A Note on Sources
About the Author

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About the author (2013)

Jennifer Jensen Wallach is associate professor of history at the University of North Texas. She is the author, most recently, of Richard Wright: From Black Boy to World Citizen.

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