The Potato: How the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World

The Potato: How the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World

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by Larry Zuckerman
     
 

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The Potato tells the story of how a humble vegetable, once regarded as trash food, had as revolutionary an impact on Western history as the railroad or the automobile. Using Ireland, England, France, and the United States as examples, Larry Zuckerman shows how daily life from the 1770s until World War I would have been unrecognizable-perhaps

Overview

The Potato tells the story of how a humble vegetable, once regarded as trash food, had as revolutionary an impact on Western history as the railroad or the automobile. Using Ireland, England, France, and the United States as examples, Larry Zuckerman shows how daily life from the 1770s until World War I would have been unrecognizable-perhaps impossible-without the potato, which functioned as fast food, famine insurance, fuel and labor saver, budget stretcher, and bank loan, as well as delicacy. Drawing on personal diaries, contemporaneous newspaper accounts, and other primary sources, this is popular social history at its liveliest and most illuminating.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Despite Ireland's Great Famine and terms like "couch potato," Seattle writer Zuckerman extols the pivotal role of the "treasure of the Andes" in Western history from the 16th through 20th century. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Johathan Yardley
Informative . . . To single [the potato] out as the salvation of the world as we know it is . . . not, as this book proves, preposterous.
The Washington Post
Emily Gordon
Thorough and lively . . . Zuckerman is an excellent storyteller.
Newsday
Katherine A. Powers
The story of the potato in Western civilization is part of the history of the table, of living conditions, of social attitudes, and even of views of heredity and degeneration. Zuckerman's exploration of these areas . . . is masterful, executed with economy and wit.
The Boston Sunday Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466812437
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/25/1999
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Larry Zuckerman is a freelance editor and writer. He lives in Seattle with his wife and young son.


Larry Zuckerman is a freelance editor and writer. He lives in Seattle with his wife and young son.

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Potato 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book's tongue-in-cheek title led me to expect an informative and entertaining history of one of the world's great foods. I discovered, rather, an informative but tediously boring history of the rural peasantry of Ireland, England and France during the 18th and 19th centuries. I can only recommend this book as a soporific potent enough to cure the most pernicious case of insomnia. If you get enough sleep, don't bother.