The Food of a Younger Landby Mark Kurlansky, Stephen Hoye (Narrated by)
Mark Kurlansky's new book takes us back to the food of a younger America. Before the national highway system brought the country closer together, before chain restaurants brought uniformity, and before the Frigidaire meant that frozen food could be stored for longer, the nation's food was seasonal, regional, and traditional. It helped to form the distinct character, attitudes, and customs of those who ate it.
While Kurlansky was researching The Big Oyster in the Library of Congress, he stumbled across the archives for the America Eats project and discovered this wonderful window into our national past. In the 1930s, with the country gripped by the Great Depression and millions of Americans struggling to get by, Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Federal Writers' Project under the New Deal to give work to artists and writers, such as John Cheever and Richard Wright. A number of writers—including Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, and Nelson Algren—were dispatched all across America to chronicle the eating habits, traditions, and struggles of local people. The project was abandoned in the early 1940s and never completed.
The Food of a Younger Nation unearths this forgotten literary and historical treasure. Mark Kurlansky's brilliant compilation of these historic pieces, combined with authentic recipes, anecdotes, photos, and his own musings and analysis, evokes a bygone era when Americans had never heard of fast food and the grocery store was a thing of the future.
The Washington Post
A genuine culinary and historical keepsake: in the late 1930s the WPA farmed out a writing project with the ambition of other New Deal programs: an encyclopedia of American food and food traditions from coast-to-coast similar to the federal travel guides. After Pearl Harbor, the war effort halted the project for good; the book was never published, and the files were archived in the Library of Congress. Food historian Kurlansky (Cod; The Big Oyster) brought the unassembled materials to light and created this version of the guide that never was. In his abridged yet remarkable version, he presents what some of the thousands of writers (among them Eudora Welty, Zora Neale Hurston and Nelson Algren) found: America, its food, its people and its culture, at the precise moment when modernism and progress were kicking into gear. Adhering to the administrators' original organization, the book divides regionally; within each section are entries as specific as "A California Grunion Fry," and as general and historical as the one on "Sioux and Chippewa Food." Though we've become a fast-food nation, this extraordinary collection-at once history, anthropology, cookbook, almanac and family album-provides a vivid and revitalizing sense of the rural and regional characteristics and distinctions that we've lost and can find again here. (May 14)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Tantor Media, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Unabridged, 10 CDs, 12 hours
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)
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Meet the Author
Stephen Hoye has won more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards and two prestigious APA Audie Awards, including one for Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. He has recorded many other notable titles, such as Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong and The Google Story by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed.
- New York, NY
- Date of Birth:
- December 7, 1948
- Place of Birth:
- Hartford, CT
- Butler University, B.A. in Theater, 1970
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I suspect this book would be better in text form. I thought the title/premise was really interesting, so I bought it as a set of CDs for a long trip. This turned out to be a bad idea. The book is full of recipes from various parts of American in the 1930s and 1940s. In text form, I'd have skimmed the recipes and read the paragraphs of lore more fully. On CD, I was forced to listed to every detail of every recipe as each was read aloud. I'm ashamed to say I didn't finish it - But someday I'll fast forward to see if he has any NON-recipe chapters near the end!