Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Approach to International Relations


“Chris Fair’s treatise on America’s enemies—real and imagined—is just
the remedy and recipe for a host of foreign policy failures.” ­
—Ann Louise Bardach, author of Cuba Confidential and Without Fidel
“Fair combines the culinary mastery of Iron Chef with the biting and acerbic wit of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show in a snarky romp through some of the world’s most picturesque and ...

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Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Approach to International Relations

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“Chris Fair’s treatise on America’s enemies—real and imagined—is just
the remedy and recipe for a host of foreign policy failures.” ­
—Ann Louise Bardach, author of Cuba Confidential and Without Fidel
“Fair combines the culinary mastery of Iron Chef with the biting and acerbic wit of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show in a snarky romp through some of the world’s most picturesque and problematic hot spots.”
—Timothy Hoyt, professor of strategy and policy, U.S. Naval War College
Everything you eat is packed with social, political, religious, and even militarized meanings—fascinating concepts that make for lively dinner conversation! Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States dishes out a saucy culinary feast of facts on ten controversial countries, their policies—and, of course, the food that unifies us all. With start-to-finish meals, and entertaining trivia to accompany dessert, it’ll be difficult getting your guests to leave!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Self-described 'think-tanker chick' Chris Fair has whipped up a creative cookbook concept."--USA Today 
"I first met Chris Fair years ago in what could have been a staid, dull academic conference on one of the many troubled areas in the world. Ten minutes in the room with her, and I knew academe would never be the same--she can swear like a master sergeant, lifts weights for fun, and keeps pit bulls, to name just a few of her more endearing habits. In Cuisines of the Axis of Evil, Fair combines the culinary mastery of "Iron Chef" with the biting and acerbic wit of Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" in a snarky romp through some of the world's most picturesque and problematic hotspots. Imagine Julia Child, John Bolton, and Borat on a desert island, and you have the general tone of this creative, informative, and amusing look at the cuisines and policies of our enemies and our not-quite-friends. This could be the opening salvo by our next Secretary of State."--Timothy Hoyt, academic, musician, and occasional anarchist (US Naval War College)

"Chris Fair's treatise on America's enemies--real and imagined--is just the remedy and recipe for a host of foreign policy failures. Especially tasty is her menu to celebrate the ignonimous end of our fifty year showdown with the demon island of Cuba with its dangerous culinary arsenal of sugar, rum, and coffee."--Ann Louise Bardach, author of Cuba Confidential and Without Fidel

Cuisines of the Axis of Evil is laugh-out-loud-funny; a shrewd primer on some of the more unsavory regimes the world has to offer, and a savory rendering of their cookery. Chris Fair by turns channels Richard Holbrooke, Steven Colbert, and Elizabeth David as she whisks up up a truly original contribution in the field of international relations and cook books.”—Peter Bergen, author of The Osama bin Laden I Know 

Publishers Weekly

Foreign affairs analyst Fair combines current events, history and cookery in this unorthodox book. Provoked by Bush's 2002 State of the Union address and her brothers' call-up by the National Guard, she posits that one way to a more tolerant post-9/11 world might be through the stomach. The author takes on 10 countries: the axis of evil triad of North Korea, Iran and Iraq; global players like Israel and China; alleged thorns-in-freedom's-side like Pakistan, and finally the "Great Satan," the U.S. She compiles "dossiers of perfidy"-a history of each nation's geopolitical sins-followed by culinary "plans of attack." The research and experience backing the dossiers is considerable, if filtered through a shrill, leftist-corrective sensibility. The representative recipes, meanwhile, range from an Iraqi lamb and okra stew ("Be warned: Okra is a finicky flora") to steamed Chinese eggplant and Kashmiri spiced tea. There's even Beer Butt Chicken to represent Uncle Sam. The genuine political and culinary passion don't organically connect; rather it's a crazy salad of dark leftist humor. Whether it's possible to laugh while despairing and cooking (the recent natural disasters particularly skew the tone of the chapters on Burma and China) remains to be seen. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599212869
  • Publisher: Lyons Press, The
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Fair is a Washington, DC-based analyst of South Asian political and military affairs. She has lived, studied, traveled, worked, and otherwise eaten her way through the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia. She lives bunkered down in an undisclosed location with her beloved spouse who now feels he must wear high-velocity bullet-repellent evening wear.

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Table of Contents



Part I: The Charter Members of the Axis of Evil                                   

North Korea                                                                           



Part II: The NPT+3 States                                                                   




Part III: The Dashers of Democracy                                                     




Part IV:  The Great Satan Barbeque                                                     

The United States of America                                                  

Appendix: Additional Resources                                                         


About the Author                                                                                 

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Who doesn’t like a dinner party?
Bring the world to your table.

Chris Fair has dined with soldiers in the Khyber Pass and with prostitutes in Delhi, rummaged for fish in Jaffna city, the epicenter of Tamil Tiger violence in Sri Lanka; and sipped Taliban tea in Peshawar. Both gastronomically and geographically speaking, she has been there, done that—and, above all, eaten that.

Cuisines of the Axis of Evil is a lively, provocative, and highly entertaining cookbook with a twist: a whole host of delectable, easy-to-follow recipes straight out of the kitchens of America’s biggest foreign policy headaches, whether friends or foes—from Iraq, Israel, and Pakistan to Iran, North Korea, and Cuba. Fair takes us country by country across the globe and then back to the heart of the Good Ol’ U.S. of A. Recipes include Iranian chicken in a walnut pomegranate stew, Iraqi kibbe, and North Korean spicy cucumber, as well as special teas, mango salads, beverage suggestions, and more.

Sardonic, satiric, grouchy, and just plain funny, with a heaping scoop of hyperbole, this mouthwatering masterpiece shows us that the only way to defeat (or befriend) your enemies is to know precisely what they eat. What could be a more unique gift for an intrepid host or hostess, or a better resource for unforgettable dinner parties? Cuisines of the Axis of Evil is food for thought—and for the taste buds. . . . Ladies and gentlemen, sharpen your knives and start your blenders!
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