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by Andrew F. Smith

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Hamburger traces the story of the hamburger's rise from an obscure American street food to the iconic fast-food phenomenon of the twentieth century.


Hamburger traces the story of the hamburger's rise from an obscure American street food to the iconic fast-food phenomenon of the twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune

“These are food memoirs, salacious and exotic, colorful, powdered, sweet, greasy and globe-trotting.”—Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune

— Christopher Borrelli


“A timely retort to gourmandism run amok, the first three titles in this chapbook series aim . . . to illuminate and elevate taken-for-granted staples via concise, discrete histories. As such, Hamburger is equal parts myth debunker and modernization theorizer.—Atlantic


"No other American food, not even the hot dog, dares lay equal claim to the hamburger's iconic status. Food historian and sociologist Smith traces the origins of the hamburger to its murky nineteenth-century birth, refusing to credit any of the competing claims to the ground-beef sandwich's beginning, nothing the absence of any primary documentation."--Booklist


"The remarkable feature of Hamburger is that it evinces genuine wonder at the innovation behind fast-food chains. It can be easy to deplore the rise of fast food or take it as a foregone conclusion, but Smith makes a point of celebrating ingenuity and letting the reader enjoy it, as well."--Gastronomica

— Margot Kaminski

The Chronicle Review

"In slim formats--a lot more than a soupcon, far less than a magnum--each Edible title will spotlight a food or drink in global context. The primary intent, says the series editor, Andrew F. Smith, is to reach the 'thinking public' with matieral drawn and translated from scholarly work. . . . Smith says he looks at food writing 'as a tool to talk about other things.' For his own Edible book, Hamburger: A Global History, a central 'other thing' is globalization, even as he starts very locally."--Nina C. Ayoub, The Chronicle Review


"Smith knows his hamburger history . . . and his synopses of the rise of the great burger chains, and their global impact, provide an interesting point of view on the effects of globalization in the modern world."--Eats.com

Product Details

Reaktion Books, Limited
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Barnes & Noble
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4 MB

Meet the Author

Andrew F. Smith is a hamburger aficionado who teaches culinary history at the New School in New York.  He is also the author of The Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food and edited The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink.


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Hamburger: A Global History 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago