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Food Studies

Food Studies Book List

Cover of 'Islands of Intensive Agriculture in Eastern Africa'

Islands of Intensive Agriculture in Eastern Africa
Edited by Mats Widgren and John E.G. Sutton

Islands of intensive agriculture are areas of local cultivation surrounded by low-density livestock herders or extensive cultivators. Along the line of the East Africa Rift Valley, and in the highlands on either side, communities of considerable historical depth have developed highly specialized agricultural regimes, employing such labor-intensive devices as furrow irrigation, hillside terracing, and stall-feeding of cattle.

Cover of 'Leaf of Allah'

Leaf of Allah
Khat and Agricultural Transformation in Harerge, Ethiopia, 1875–1991
By Ezekiel Gebissa

Khat is a quasi-legal psychoactive shrub, produced and marketed in the province of Harerge, Ethiopia, and widely consumed throughout Northeast Africa. In the late nineteenth century the main cash crop of Harerge was coffee. Leaf of Allah examines why farming families shifted from cultivating coffee and food crops to growing khat. Demographic, market, and political factors facilitated the emergence of khat as Harerge's leading agricultural commodity.

Cover of 'Rare Bits'

Rare Bits
Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes
By Patricia Bunning Stevens

In terms of geological time, good cooks are a young species. They've been evolving for a scant half a million years, since fire was first tamed and tended. Rare Bits is a delightful and illuminating account of humankind's progression from skewering meat to whipping up a batch of Strawberries Sarah Bernhardt. The range is wide, from Bismarcks to Green Goddess dressing.

Cover of 'A Most Promising Weed'

A Most Promising Weed
A History of Tobacco Farming and Labor in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1890–1945
By Steven C. Rubert

A Most Promising Weed examines the work experience, living conditions, and social relations of thousands of African men, women, and children on European-owned tobacco farms in colonial Zimbabwe from 1890 to 1945. Steven C. Rubert provides evidence that Africans were not passive in their responses to the penetration of European capitalism into Zimbabwe but, on the contrary, helped to shape both the work and living conditions they encountered as they entered wage employment.

Cover of 'Custodians of the Land'

Custodians of the Land
Ecology and Culture in the History of Tanzania
Edited by Gregory H. Maddox, James L. Giblin, and Isaria N. Kimambo

Farming and pastoral societies inhabit ever-changing environments. This relationship between environment and rural culture, politics and economy in Tanzania is the subject of this volume which will be valuable in reopening debates on Tanzanian history.

Cover of 'The Migrant Farmer in the History of Cape Colony, 1657–1842'

The Migrant Farmer in the History of Cape Colony, 1657–1842
By P. J. van der Merwe

Petrus Johannes Van der Merwe wrote three of the most significant books on the history of South Africa before he was 35 years old. His trilogy, of which The Migrant Farmer is the first volume, has become a classic that no student of Cape colonial history of the seventeenth, eighteenth or nineteenth century can ignore.

Cover of 'America’s Collectible Cookbooks'

America’s Collectible Cookbooks
The History, the Politics, the Recipes
By Mary Anna DuSablon

America's Collectible Cookbooks is a wonderful concoction of gossipy morsels and serious reflection about cookbooks and cookbook authors. Although the names Fannie Merritt Farmer, Eliza Leslie, Sarah Josepha Hale, and Irma Rombauer are familiar to generations of American books, few know how really extraordinary these women were.