An exhaustive and informative guide to the intricacies of America’s food.

The Great American Food Fight

WINNING THE BATTLE FOR YOUR FAMILY'S HEALTH

A diet and nutrition book exposes how the food industry victimizes the U.S. consumer.

The U.S. is one of the fattest and sickest nations on Earth. While Baldasare (The Nutrition Cure, 2015, etc.) once viewed Americans’ malnutrition as a problem of poor personal choices, he now realizes it is actually a more systemic issue. “The truth is that far too many of our food choices are made for us, not by us,” he writes. “The struggle to eat healthily…has become a battle in which many powerful forces are aligned against us.” The aims of this book are twofold. The first is to reveal the ways in which the food industry and its lobbyists have actively misled the public to serve their own needs, suppressing scientific research and waging a campaign of nutritional misinformation. The second is to inform consumers as to what foods and ingredients they are actually eating and how to cut through the cultural noise to locate sources of real nutrition. Divided into brief sections, many less than a page, the book tackles the myriad topics that constitute the current diet debate: from the diseases that most affect the American public to strategies employed by the food industry to sell products (including packaging, qualified and unqualified health claims, ecology and ethics labels, and plastic coding) to breakdowns of the additives, fats, pesticides, and other specifics for each food group. The author concludes with the current state of food activism and provides an appendix of useful charts documenting everything from types of food coloring to sources of gluten. For Baldasare, an informed public remains the best chance at fixing the food system, and he offers an impressive amount of information. Writing in a clear, practical prose aimed at the general reader, the author approaches each topic with candor and occasional humor (“Got milk? If you’re a US citizen, your government certainly hopes so”). The book’s encyclopedic nature lends itself more to discretionary browsing than to proceeding straight through, but readers of all lifestyles should learn troubling and helpful facts about the food they eat.

An exhaustive and informative guide to the intricacies of America’s food.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9832431-6-8

Page Count: 278

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Aug. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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