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Feeding the people : the politics of the…

Feeding the people : the politics of the potato (edição: 2020)

de Rebecca Earle

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Título:Feeding the people : the politics of the potato
Autores:Rebecca Earle
Informação:Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2020.
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato de Rebecca Earle

Adicionado recentemente porejmw, BookAnonJeff, libraryhead_wishlist, aolson, kosj, USL

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Remarkably Well Researched. This is a history likely unlike any you've ever read - a look at the changing philosophies of government as they relate to the rise and fall of the potato. This is certainly one of the more novel histories I've read, and perhaps because of the author being aware of such novelty and the criticism it can often engender, is also the singular most well documented book I've ever read - literally 42% of the edition I read was bibliography and index. (More normal in my experience is closer to 25-30% even on the more complete side.) Certainly a very interesting approach, filled with various bits of history I had not known and/ or considered in such detail. Very much recommended. ( )
  BookAnonJeff | Jul 11, 2021 |
Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato by Rebecca Earle is an engrossing read about the intersection of food and politics.

I admit that I find histories that connect the mundane daily aspects of life to the larger, often political, aspects. This volume does a great job of presenting the potato as both a staple of many people's diets as well as a site of conflict over governmental intrusion. Basically, over time, we have been both encouraged and discouraged from eating the potato. We have been told what ways to use it and what ways to avoid using it for our health. Yet we don't want the government to tell us what to eat at the same time that we insist they protect our health and safety through inspections and standards.

The part that spoke most directly to me, mainly because it involves a philosopher I have studied and read extensively, is where Earle brings Foucault's understanding of power into play. Particularly the idea that some people are helped to live while others are prodded toward death. Diet and how foods are promoted and provided play just one part of the larger picture, but an essential one. The most affordable is often the least healthy. The most healthy foods are often priced out of the reach of those people who are considered expendable.

Utilizing the history of the potato Earle offers a glimpse at how food is never simply sustenance, even dating back to the times we might have thought it would. The tendency to use food as both a marker of privilege and a tool for oppression is highlighted in this fascinating story.

While written for an academic audience, the writing is accessible to most readers. It is deceptively dense, in that it presents a great deal of information without being too dry or "scholarly" for a popular readership.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | May 22, 2020 |
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