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Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America (Altamira Studies in Food and Gastronomy) (Rowman & Littlefield Studies in Food and Gastronomy) Hardcover – 20 Nov 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press,U.S. (20 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759120730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759120730
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 1.6 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,729,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

In this cleverly titled volume, Kraig takes a look at the American hot dog phenomenon, giving the history and folklore behind the foodstuff that became 'quintessential public dining treats-long before the rise of hamburgers-sold on streets, at fairs and festivals, at picnics (weenie roasts), and in fast food venues...' Chapters on the simple pleasures of eating hot dogs and the numerous ways which they can be served pull readers back in. A fully loaded Chicago dog, for example, 'has mustard, bright green relish, chopped onions, tomato slices, pickle slices, and small sport peppers jammed onto the bun.' And currywurst, first popular in Germany, is 'covered in a sweet-hot sauce' and 'served on paper plates.' Photographer Carroll includes images of old-school hot dog stands and pushcarts, helping to illustrate this sometimes disturbing but always bright tribute to an American food classic. Publishers Weekly Man Bites Dog looks to be a much deeper dive into the current state of hot dog culture in the United States. Definitely number one on my list this year. Serious Eats Partnering with photographer Patty Carroll, the pair explore the hot dog's place in our society from the metal carts so popular in New York City and Chicago to iconic restaurants like Pink's famous Hot Dog in Los Angeles. Gazette Digging into the love and lore behind an unassuming ballpark staple, they (Bruce Kraig and Patty Carroll) offer a guided tour of immigrant culture, gastronomic history and hot doggeries coast to coast. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Among the constantly changing stack of books on my bedside table are a trio of volumes always there for their timeless inspiration. Now joining On the Road, John Adams, and the Bible is Man Bites Dog. For a wiener lover like myself, it truly is biblical-full of history, drama, and wonder. It is a joy to browse at leisure and a solid read front to back, endlessly informative as well as entertaining. This ambitious ode to the most American food of all bolsters one's faith in our nation's taste, which, however it gets politicized, industrialized, or sanitized, remains full of character and mischief. -- Michael Stern, Roadfood.com In Man Bites Dog, Bruce Kraig has taken us on a veritable Magical Mystery Meat Tour, replete with amusing arcana and delicious digressions on every page-with the possible exception of the many pages that pheature phantastic photos by Patty Carroll. Gimme one with everything. -- Gary Allen, author of Sausage: A Global History As a hot dog fanatic, I devour any reading material whatsoever having to do with the subject of hot dogs. Man Bites Dog is the best and most comprehensive book about hot dogs, their regional styles, history, and culture, and the people who serve, make, and enjoy America's favorite food. I heartily recommend this book for the casual hot dog eater as well as the hardcore hot dog aficionado. -- John Fox, hot dog expert

About the Author

Bruce Kraig, professor emeritus at Roosevelt University, is a noted food historian and widely sought-after expert on the lore, allure, and culture of the hot dog. He is the top dog. Patty Carroll, adjunct professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, specializes in photographing American popular culture. Previous projects include Elvis impersonators; sleazy bars, motels, and restaurants at night; and American suburban lawns.

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By I. Darren TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
To many people a hot dog is a simple thing. One sausage, one bread roll and maybe some sauce and accompanied filling such as onions. Yet, after looking at this book, you might be forgiven for not understanding that it can be nearly a holy thing, requiring devotion and respect akin to that given to a religious figure. A defining cornerstone of culture.

In contemporary society the humble "dog" tends to fall in the shadows. Think Italian food and people respond pasta or pizza. American food? Hamburger or beefburger. Mexican food.. you get the picture. This book manages to cram in so much history and information about hot dogs than one could imagine is humanly possible. Who would have thought that there would be so much to say, yet the book doesn't feel padded either.

From the start the author contends that the hot dog is a reflection of America: lots of ethnicities mixed together, seasoned and placed into a streamline being, with different toppings reflecting the country's various regions. One product, many origins, many differences but still one core product. As an analogy it is a rather clever, thought provoking one. For a food book, you are not going to learn how to cook the perfect hot dog, yet in many ways you will... you will get a much greater understanding of something that is so simple, so knowingly under-appreciated and culturally iconic. Maybe you will learn, but not in the way you might expect.

This is no dry academic book. It is accessible on so many different levels and could equally be a springboard for deep, thoughtful academic learning or research on one hand whilst remaining a humorous, informative, jaw-dropping read on the other.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This book made me slobber ... 26 Jan. 2013
By groosdad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I LOVE hot dogs, maybe now I know why - this book has everything I never knew, so i read it with relish (sorry, can't
resist the puns, hot-dogs are made for 'em ! - just look at the names hot-dog stands have in this book, like Hot Doug's,
the Weiner's Circle, Vicious Dogs, Pup in the Ruff, and dozens more). Terrific book, smart text full of "who knew's",
and snappy photos - wish there were more - and great storytelling, I've given this book to several friends, every
single one enjoyed every single page- " a book that me hungry". Me too, made me slobber ... 'scuse me, gotta go get one.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
More interesting than one could have imagined 7 Mar. 2013
By I. Darren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
To many people a hot dog is a simple thing. One sausage, one bread roll and maybe some sauce and accompanied filling such as onions. Yet, after looking at this book, you might be forgiven for not understanding that it can be nearly a holy thing, requiring devotion and respect akin to that given to a religious figure. A defining cornerstone of culture.

In contemporary society the humble "dog" tends to fall in the shadows. Think Italian food and people respond pasta or pizza. American food? Hamburger or beefburger. Mexican food.. you get the picture. This book manages to cram in so much history and information about hot dogs than one could imagine is humanly possible. Who would have thought that there would be so much to say, yet the book doesn't feel padded either.

From the start the author contends that the hot dog is a reflection of America: lots of ethnicities mixed together, seasoned and placed into a streamline being, with different toppings reflecting the country's various regions. One product, many origins, many differences but still one core product. As an analogy it is a rather clever, thought provoking one. For a food book, you are not going to learn how to cook the perfect hot dog, yet in many ways you will… you will get a much greater understanding of something that is so simple, so knowingly under-appreciated and culturally iconic. Maybe you will learn, but not in the way you might expect.

This is no dry academic book. It is accessible on so many different levels and could equally be a springboard for deep, thoughtful academic learning or research on one hand whilst remaining a humorous, informative, jaw-dropping read on the other. Something as simple as a full page photograph showing regional hot dog styles - "only" 10 are shown - lets you really understand how diverse and individualistic this perceived uniform dish can be. The level of detail and thought behind the text is impressive, even though at times some of the revelations are, to this reviewer, downright disturbing. Who would imagine a trial of fish hot dogs, described as being canned tuna fish in a tube? This reviewer is not sure whether that is sacrilege, perverse or a good idea. Beauty can be in the eye of the beholder, or taste in this case, but eating a tuna sausage does sound rather odd.

Hot dog iconography, social history, global development and trends are all covered and much more besides in this book. There is even a multitude of recipes too but one can imagine this could lead to some strident discussions with rather opinionated hot dog purists who might consider their holiest of holies slighted, defiled or made impure. Such is the rich variety present in a supposedly simple thing.

The recipes themselves are rather eye-opening and can show the diversity of the hot dog. Before seeing the recipes you might have assumed the diversity would be limited to the style of bread, choice of sauce and fillings. Oh no, there is a lot, lot more. Split Pea Soup with Hot Dogs, Fettuccine with Sausage, Sage & Crispy Garlic, or a Crown Roast of Frankfurters lead the charge. But the recipes are not just "add a hot dog sausage to whatever…" Each recipe is clear to follow, well written and does encourage you to delve right in and have a go. Things are written from a clear U.S.-perspective, as one might imagine, so some of the ingredients might be a challenge to find in local foreign markets, yet there is then even more scope to have a go, substitute a few elements and undertake some leading-edge hot dog fusion cooking!

Should you still be hungry for more information there are a wealth of footnotes and further reading suggestions too. This is a wonderful book, a quite unique considered work. The only issue is possibly the price as it is not so much an impulse buy or an instant gift, yet one can understand the pricing. An ebook version is a little cheaper and no doubt over time some of the discount booksellers will bring the price down a few dollars too. Make no mistake, this is a book worthy of serious consideration if this sort of thing interests you. A lot is filling this little package, perhaps just like a hot dog. From the outside you might wonder is it worth its money… start to bite into it and…. yum!
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