Betty Fussell The Story of Corn

ISBN 13: 9780826335920

The Story of Corn

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9780826335920: The Story of Corn
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The Story of Corn is a unique compendium, drawing upon history and mythology, science and art, anecdote and image, personal narrative and epic to tell the extraordinary story of the grain that built the New World. Corn transformed the way the entire world eats, providing a hardy, inexpensive alternative to rice or wheat and cheap fodder for livestock and finding its way into everything from explosives to embalming fluid.

Betty Fussell has given us a true American saga, interweaving the histories of the indigenous peoples who first cultivated the grain and the European conquerors who appropriated and propagated it around the globe. She explores corn's roles as food, fetish, crop, and commodity to those who have planted, consumed, worshiped, processed, and profited from it for seven centuries.

Now available only from the University of New Mexico Press, The Story of Corn, is the winner of a Julia Child Cookbook Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals.


"Written in a lively and nontechnical style."--Library Journal


"Fussell has clearly done a good deal of research and a lot of traveling--peering over a precipice at Machu Picchu, descending into a restored ceremonial kiva of the Anasazi people in New Mexico, visiting the sole surviving corn palace from the Midwest boosters--glory days of a century ago."--Kirkus Reviews

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From the Back Cover:

In an authoritative, wise and wholly original blend of social history, art, science and anthropology, Betty Fussell tells the story of corn in a narrative that is as uniquely hybrid as her subject. It is a story that can be told in the language of myth or industry, of sacred ritual or secular farming, but in any language it makes clear that all the civilizations of the Western Hemisphere have been built on corn. The great epic of this amazing grain and of the people who for seven centuries have planted, eaten, worshipped, processed and profited from it reaches into every corner of American life--not just its food but also its poetry, its commerce, its religion and, of course, its booze. In her beautifully balanced text as well as in hundreds of extraordinary illustrations, Fussell juxtaposes the many facets of corn's history and influence to surprising, dramatic effect. The Story of Corn changes completely one's sense of the shape and nature of the American experience. You will never again munch on a hush puppy, admire a Maya temple, read Hiawatha or simply pass a cornfield in the same way.

From the Inside Flap:

This interweaving of folklore, history, and science tells the seven-century story of the importance of corn in the Americas.

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