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Food in the Civil War Era: The North (American Food in History) Hardcover – 30 May 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press (30 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611861225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611861228
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2 x 20.3 cm
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Product description


A key moment in American culinary history is brought to life by readable, authoritative essays and excerpts from contemporary cookbooks. Fascinating.
Rachel Laudan, author of Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History"

This book provides us with a glimpse at both food habits and the evolution of the genre of cookery books during the American Civil War period, and hence should be of interest to both food historians as well as American studies scholars. An introductory essay provides a general background of changing trends in food habits in the North in this period, and helps to set the scene for the considerable economic and social changes that were in train. Selections from a series of historic cookbooks, many of which are not likely to be familiar even to those versed in food studies, form the centerpiece of this intriguing book, and are accompanied by extremely useful introductions and notes to assist the reader in interpreting the recipes and other materials provided, such as details on medicinal preparations. These cookbooks not only provide a window to what people were likely cooking and eating, but also capture their authors reflections on the changing roles of women and servants or slaves and the baseline skills and practices assumed in the kitchen in this critical period of transition in the United States.
Rachel A. Ankeny, Program Coordinator for the Graduate Program in Food Studies, Associate Professor, School of History and Politics, Associate Dean/Research for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the University of Adelaide, Australia"

This book provides a fascinating selection of cookbooks from the 1860s, giving readers a taste of this crucialif quotidianaspect of American life. The introductory essays thoroughly ground readers in the historical context of the Civil War, explaining not only the role that food played in that conflict but also how the war reshaped American diets for decades to come. I recommend this volume for undergraduate food history courses and readers interested in historical cookery.
April Merleaux, Assistant Professor of History, Florida International University"

Food has long been recognized as a critical factor in determining the outcome of the Civil War, but no work until Food in the Civil War Era: The North has explored this topic in any depth. Its comprehensive examination of the Northern agricultural systembuilt on the westward expansion of agricultural lands, the exploitation of new labor-saving implements, and a growing transportation networkwell explains the increase in farming surpluses that fueled a vibrant market economy. Especially delightful, however, is its depiction of contemporary domestic lifehousehold provisioning, foods consumed, methods of preparation and cooking, commonly used tools and equipmentobtained through perusing popular cookbooks, middle-class advice manuals, novels, and newspaper cartoons portraying working-class and immigrant culture. The result is a well-rounded and rich understanding of not just food in the Civil War, but also the nation s changing material, economic, and cultural landscapes.
Marsha L. Richmond, Associate Professor, History of Science, Department of History, Wayne State University"

About the Author

Helen Zoe Veit is Assistant Professor of History at Michigan State University, USA. She specialises in American history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing on the history of food and nutrition. She is the author of Modern Food, Moral Food: Self-Control, Science, and the Rise of Modern American Eating in the Early Twentieth Century.

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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsFascinating glimpse into our pioneer past
3 December 2014 - Published on
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