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Customer Reviews for

An Edible History of Humanity

Average Rating 3.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Not just your standard history book!

At first I thought this would be a boring "history" book, one that just rehashes everything I learned in school. Much to my shock and enjoyment it was a pretty good book. This book goes back to the very first humans and shows how food has shaped our future. From being h...
At first I thought this would be a boring "history" book, one that just rehashes everything I learned in school. Much to my shock and enjoyment it was a pretty good book. This book goes back to the very first humans and shows how food has shaped our future. From being hunter-gathers to present day humans it's amazing, and obvious, how food allowed us to make those important changes. Standage even gives some ideas on how food may shape our future.

There was so much information that while not necessarily useful, was at least interesting. I never really thought about the role that food had played in our history, but after reading this book I thought to myself, "How could I not have recognized that important link?" I think food isn't at the forefront of history because it is something that we take for granted. Even when learning of times when food was rationed by different countries throughout history I never realized the role that food played in the political and cultural climates.

The writing style was also nice. It wasn't mundane to read, the information was presented with a very nice flow. It wasn't an exciting book, and it wasn't one that I became captivated by, but it was enjoyable. If nothing else the knowledge I gained was worth the read.

It was very interesting and I would definitely recommend it.

posted by Jennmarie68 on January 4, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

The grass that held its seeds e g didnt fall was wheat

but i would like an alphabet list of world foods where they were first used and "traveled" to be grown in another place or always imported lke bananas

posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2014

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  • Posted January 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not just your standard history book!

    At first I thought this would be a boring "history" book, one that just rehashes everything I learned in school. Much to my shock and enjoyment it was a pretty good book. This book goes back to the very first humans and shows how food has shaped our future. From being hunter-gathers to present day humans it's amazing, and obvious, how food allowed us to make those important changes. Standage even gives some ideas on how food may shape our future.

    There was so much information that while not necessarily useful, was at least interesting. I never really thought about the role that food had played in our history, but after reading this book I thought to myself, "How could I not have recognized that important link?" I think food isn't at the forefront of history because it is something that we take for granted. Even when learning of times when food was rationed by different countries throughout history I never realized the role that food played in the political and cultural climates.

    The writing style was also nice. It wasn't mundane to read, the information was presented with a very nice flow. It wasn't an exciting book, and it wasn't one that I became captivated by, but it was enjoyable. If nothing else the knowledge I gained was worth the read.

    It was very interesting and I would definitely recommend it.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    Why couldn't history classes be this facinating?

    I have learned so much by reading this book, and others similar. This author does such a wonderful job of explaining the impact of how food, core crops in particular, has changed the whole history of mankind. Critical timely developments are presented from around the world, and are presented in easy to follow timelines. Not a recipe book by any means, but in some ways more important.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyable and Put Together Well

    I really enjoyed this book. Very topical and insightful. The beginning and the end of the book were especially relative to the positive and negative aspects of food. I agree with other reviewers and historians that there are other things besides diplomacy and war that shape history and, I believe, that Standage's thesis and ideas are very sound and relative to today.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Entertaining and educational

    This is my second book from Tom Standage. After reading "A History of the World in 6 Glasses" I knew more or less what to expect. And indeed I was not disappointed. The book shows how human history was influenced by food (being anything from wheat to spices) and human race has changed the nature. And we're not talking about recent few hundred years, but a process that is taking place for last few millennia - see history of maize. The facts are well balanced, I got an impression author tries to show the process itself rather than judge it good or bad. If anything, this book shows the complexity of relationship between food, humans and the rest of the nature.

    As one of the reviewers said, the book makes you go "Oh... How come I did not realize that?". Very interesting reading and very well told.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    AP World History Review: Brilliantly Unconventional This book be

    AP World History Review: Brilliantly Unconventional
    This book begins with an unconventional view of "genetically modified" crops, and continues in kind for the duration of the book. Standage does a brilliant job analyzing the food we eat and how it affects the world. The book provides an escape from the realm of conventional history by analyzing one aspect of life, and showing it's development since the beginning of history. 
    I would recommend this book to those who desire a new way of thinking and who want to be challenged as it provides a very "outside-the-box" view of history.  His perspective of history, and style of writing provide keep this book unpredictable and intriguing through and through

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Cool history book

    You'll never look at corn the same; interesting fact book about the food in your kitchem

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2014

    Good but no copy editing

    I enjoyed the book and its interesting take on how food affected history. I would have rated it higher, but the book had so many misspellings, words broken in strange and random places, unindented paragraphs and other errors that should have been taken care of before publication, that I can only conclude that the e-book edition had absolutely no proofreading done to it. It's a shame that an otherwise worthwile book is spoiled by shoddy publishing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    The grass that held its seeds e g didnt fall was wheat

    but i would like an alphabet list of world foods where they were first used and "traveled" to be grown in another place or always imported lke bananas

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    Testing

    &forte &piano

    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    AP World History Review: It Was Good, but not for me. As I state

    AP World History Review: It Was Good, but not for me.
    As I stated in my title, this book is good, maybe even great depending on what you like. But it just wasn't for me. You can tell that the author, Tom Standage, KNOWS what he's talking about. This is also evident through his credentials, but that is for another time. ANYWAY, the reason I only gave this book three stars was because it was a bit slow and uninteresting for me. At least the information was useful, and I can honestly say I enjoyed learning. Standage, while having many hard facts and opinions about the past, also gives his insight into the not-so-distant future.

    Standage talks about early humans and "production limits" that they had while hunting and gathering. He also talks about specific regions of the world, like the Americas and Asia, where maize and rice helped them both to flourish, respectively. What I felt was a little unnecessary though, was Standage talking about the Earth's atmosphere and how it could not handle some of the things that us humans are doing to it. Like isn't this book supposed to be about food? Overall, very good book for people who want to learn about how food shaped humanity.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    Interesting Read

    Fun look at historical events from the perspective man's pursuit of food and how it played a role in shaping the world today.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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