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White Bread - A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf
White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf
Author: Aaron Bobrow-Strain
Product Code: 4467 ISBN: 978-080704467-4
Pages: 
272
Binding Information: Cloth 
Size: 
6 X 9 Inches (US)
Illustrated: 
No
Copyright Date Ed: 
03/06/2012
Trade Code: 
00C
Price: $27.95 In stock.
Qty:

How did white bread, once an icon of American progress, become "white trash"? In this lively history of bakers, dietary crusaders, and social reformers, Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows us that what we think about the humble, puffy loaf says a lot about who we are and what we want our society to look like.

White Bread teaches us that when Americans debate what one should eat, they are also wrestling with larger questions of race, class, immigration, and gender. As Bobrow-Strain traces the story of bread, from the first factory loaf to the latest gourmet pain au levain, he shows how efforts to champion "good food" reflect dreams of a better society-even as they reinforce stark social hierarchies.

In the early twentieth century, the factory-baked loaf heralded a bright new future, a world away from the hot, dusty, "dirty" bakeries run by immigrants. Fortified with vitamins, this bread was considered the original "superfood" and even marketed as patriotic-while food reformers painted white bread as a symbol of all that was wrong with America.

The history of America's one-hundred-year-long love-hate relationship with white bread reveals a lot about contemporary efforts to change the way we eat. Today, the alternative food movement favors foods deemed ethical and environmentally correct to eat, and fluffy industrial loaves are about as far from slow, local, and organic as you can get. Still, the beliefs of early twentieth-century food experts and diet gurus, that getting people to eat a certain food could restore the nation's decaying physical, moral, and social fabric, will sound surprisingly familiar. Given that open disdain for "unhealthy" eaters and discrimination on the basis of eating habits grow increasingly acceptable, White Bread is a timely and important examination of what we talk about when we talk about food.

Read chapter 1, "Untouched by Human Hands"


In the Media

Click here to read a review of White Bread on the blog The Fresh Loaf.

Click here to watch the book trailer forWhite Bread.

Click here to see White Bread featured on TheKitchn.com.

Click here to read a review of White Bread on GoodFoodWorld.com.

Click here to read an original essay by Aaron Bobrow-Strain in the Chronicle Review.

Click here to read an original essay by Aaron Bobrow-Strain in the February issue of The Believer.

Click here to see Aaron Bobrow-Strain featured in the "Extra Credit" section of The Nation.

Click here to see White Bread featured in SF Weekly.

Click here to see White Bread featured in Treehugger's "healthy eating" section.

Click here to see Aaron Bobrow-Strain's work featured in Chicago Magazine's staff blog.

Click here to listen to Aaron Bobrow-Strain on NPR's The Salt.

Click here to listen to Aaron Bobrow-Strain on NPR's Weekend Edition.

Click here to see White Bread featured on Amazon's Book of the Month List.

Click here to read an excerpt from White Bread on Salon.com.

Click here to read Ann Little's review of White Bread on Historiann.com.

Click here to see Aaron Bobrow-Strain's work featured on DoobyBrain.com.

Click here to read Martin Wolske's review of White Bread on his personal blog.

Click here to listen to an interview with Bobrow-Strain on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show.

Click here to see Aaron Bobrow-Strain's work featured on the Smithsonian Magazine's blog "Food & Think".

Click here to see White Bread featured on the Christian Science Monitor's website.

Click here to read Marion Nestle's review of White Bread on her personal blog, FoodPolitics.com.

Click here to read a write-up ofWhite Bread on the Whitman College website.

Click here to read an essay by Aaron Bobrow-Strain on theHuffington Post.

Click here to see White Bread mentioned in the book section of The Seattle Times.

Click here to read a feature/Q&A with Aaron Bobrow Strain in the Ideas section of theBoston Globe.

Click here to listen to a radio interview with Aaron Bobrow Strain on KCRW's Good Food.

Click here to listen to " WILL Radio's Focus interview with Aaron Bobrow Strain.

Click here to read a write-up ofWhite Bread on the LA Times book blog.

Click here to read a review of White Bread by the Whole Grains Council, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group.

Click here to read a Q&A with Aaron Bobrow Strain in The Whitman Pioneer.

Click here to read a feature on Aaron Bobrow Strain on Slate.com.

Click here to read a review of White Bread in the online magazine Capital New York.

Click here to listen to an interview with Aaron Bobrow Strain on It's All About Food.

Click here to read a recent write-up of White Bread on the Tattered Cover Bookstore's blog.

Click here to read a recent write-up of White Bread on the blog Farnam Street.

Click here to read a recent write-up of White Bread on the Food Liability Law blog.

Click here to see Bobrow-Strain's mention in the New York Times' dinning section

Click here to read an interview with Aaron Bobrow Strain on Culinate.com.

For ....

Reviews
Review   Serious Eats - May 1, 2012
"This book provides an enlightening take on bread's social and cultural value. Bobrow-Strain blends academic rigor with a friendly, insightful tone, making White Bread the best thing since...well, never mind."
Review   PopMatters.com - May 15, 2012
"Whatever you think of white bread, its history is full of surprises. And Bobrow-Strain shares this history with wit, style, and imagination. This is a richly researched and cleverly told story."

Quotes
"Packed with fine stories and lucid analysis, this terrific book does for the humble loaf what Mark Kurlansky does for cod. Yes, it's a social history that is better than sliced bread."—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved

“Aaron Bobbrow-Strain has accomplished a difficult task: White Bread is imaginative, scholarly, yet totally accessible. Any reader who cherishes bread and all the issues it touches as a powerful social and aspirational metaphor will love this book.”—Peter Reinhart, baker and author of Artisan Breads Everyday

"Written by a seasoned baker, White Bread is both an epic, often funny history of the industrial loaf and a wise commentary on today's polarized food politics. Tear into it."—Susanne Freidberg, author of Fresh: A Perishable History

“In clear prose that is both muscular and nuanced, Aaron Bobrow-Strain bravely leads us into the belly of the corporate beast to confront the consummate processed food, archetype of everything not whole, crunchy, or virtuous. We emerge with a much better understanding of the staff of life, along with startling insights into our political, economic, military, and environmental crises.”—Warren Belasco, Author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry

"A really good read"–Mother Earth News

"Highly recommended. General and undergraduate collections and up."—Choice Magazine

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