Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its Holy and Unholy History

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Overview


“In a colossal epic tale, Mr. Jacob has sketched world history—its folkways, its religion, its superstition, and its plagues, all in terms of bread.” —Wall Street Journal

From ancient Egypt to modern times, bread has been the essential food, the very symbol of fundamental well-being. First published in 1944 and the result of more two decades’ research, Six Thousand Years of Bread is a thought-provoking journey through bread’s role in politics, religion, technology, war, ...

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Overview


“In a colossal epic tale, Mr. Jacob has sketched world history—its folkways, its religion, its superstition, and its plagues, all in terms of bread.” —Wall Street Journal

From ancient Egypt to modern times, bread has been the essential food, the very symbol of fundamental well-being. First published in 1944 and the result of more two decades’ research, Six Thousand Years of Bread is a thought-provoking journey through bread’s role in politics, religion, technology, war, civilization, and beyond. A cult favorite among bakers and foodies, this beautiful new seventieth anniversary edition will fascinate philosophers, historians, and bakers alike.

The fascinating voyage begins with bread in prehistoric times and continues with an exploration of the plow, the discovery of baking, the Greek passion for seed corn and reverence for the bread goddess Demeter, the significance of the Bible’s many references to bread, and how bread contributed to the outcome of World War I. In a poignant conclusion, Jacob describes his own experiences subsisting on bread made of sawdust in a Nazi concentration camp. Six Thousand Years of Bread is a brilliant celebration of bread and the remarkable role it has played throughout human history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Rarely has a book intended for a popular audience displayed evidence of more exhaustive scholarship. . . . The amount of information Mr. Jacob has unearthed that will be new to most readers is simply astonishing.” —The New York Times

“This is not merely a book about bread as bread, the end result of grass seed ground into flour, but about bread as a signifier of transformation, both personally and historically.” —Peter Reinhart, from his foreword

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781629145143
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/16/2014
  • Edition description: Anniversary Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 623,337
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


H. E. Jacob wrote some forty books during his prolific career, including biographies, poetry, dramas, and histories. After fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany, he moved to New York and gained American citizenship. In the early fifties he returned to Germany, where he died in 1967.

Peter Reinhart is the author of many award-winning books on bread and culture, including The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread and Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. He is a baking instructor at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    have you ever wondered how you got here?

    A must read for those who have interests ranging from kitchen arts to geopolitics.
    this read answers how we got to where we are. All thanks to a grain of wheat and mans ability and need to observe.Easy to digest and retain,totally engrossing.I bless the grains and the rain each time I consume bread now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is a very interesting book which sets forth the impact that bread has throughout history, art, religion and politics down through the ages. Beginning with the earliest cultivators of grains through the manmade famines of World War II Jacob details the close relationship that bread has had with the growth of human civilization. The book does not take a merely historical approach but rather provides an overview of human development through bread¿s effect on art, religion, society and government. One learns why the miller was considered a force of evil in medieval Europe, why the peasants were tied to the land and the effect this had on class interaction and the role of bread in the development of Christianity. There is quite a bit of commentary on the advantages that America had vis a vi Europe in regard to our relationship to bread. The vast social changes caused in America by our forefather¿s initial reliance on corn as opposed to wheat are an especially fascinating section of this book. Although the book was written during World War II it is till relevant today. This book will be enjoyed by anyone who studies history, art, religion, sociology and related subjects.

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