A Taste of Power: Food and American Identities (California Studies in Food and Culture)

 
9780520284982: A Taste of Power: Food and American Identities (California Studies in Food and Culture)
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Since the founding of the United States, culinary texts and practices have played a crucial role in the making of cultural identities and social hierarchies. A Taste of Power examines culinary writing and practices as forces for the production of social order and, at the same time, points of cultural resistance. Culinary writing has helped shape dominant ideas of nationalism, gender, and sexuality, suggesting that eating right is a gateway to becoming an American, a good citizen, an ideal man, or a perfect wife and mother.

In this brilliant interdisciplinary work, Katharina Vester examines how cookbooks became a way for women to participate in nation-building before they had access to the vote or public office, for Americans to distinguish themselves from Europeans, for middle-class authors to assert their class privileges, for men to claim superiority over women in the kitchen, and for lesbian authors to insert themselves into the heteronormative economy of culinary culture. A Taste of Power engages in close reading of a wide variety of sources and genres to uncover the intersections of food, politics, and privilege in American culture.

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“A highly original, well-theorized analysis of how over 200 years' worth of American cooking literature reveals changes in cultural identities. Framing a narrative around questions of power and hegemony, Vester breathes new life into the cliché, ‘You are what you eat.’”—Warren Belasco, author of Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food

"Through a series of zesty readings, A Taste of Power teaches us how to parse the politics of cooking and eating. A keen cultural analyst, Vester shows how the salt of normativity and the pepper of resistance have infused the recipes we live by and thus every bite we eat."—Kristin Hoganson, author of Consumers’ Imperium: The Global Production of American Domesticity

"Vester takes everyday acts, like cooking, and masterfully illustrates their connections to larger cultural questions, such as sexuality. A Taste of Power proves that nothing is off the table in discussions of food and power."—Amy Bentley, author of Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet

About the Author:

Katharina Vester is Assistant Professor of History at American University in Washington, DC, where she teaches in the American Studies program.

 

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Since the founding of the United States, culinary texts and practices have played a crucial role in the making of cultural identities and social hierarchies. A Taste of Power examines culinary writing and practices as forces for the production of social order and, at the same time, points of cultural resistance. Culinary writing has helped shape dominant ideas of nationalism, gender, and sexuality, suggesting that eating right is a gateway to becoming an American, a good citizen, an ideal man, or a perfect wife and mother. In this brilliant interdisciplinary work, Katharina Vester examines how cookbooks became a way for women to participate in nation-building before they had access to the vote or public office, for Americans to distinguish themselves from Europeans, for middle-class authors to assert their class privileges, for men to claim superiority over women in the kitchen, and for lesbian authors to insert themselves into the heteronormative economy of culinary culture. A Taste of Power engages in close reading of a wide variety of sources and genres to uncover the intersections of food, politics, and privilege in American culture. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780520284982

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