Levenstein's Revolution at the Table (1988), which surveyed the changes in American food habits between 1880 and 1930, is widely deemed a major contribution to our culinary history. Here, he brings the story up to date. The author provides an overview made coherent by several running motifs: nutrition claims by experts, industry, and industry bashers; the ""nutrition terrorism"" of ""negative nutrition"" and industry's response by adopting the magic word ""natural""; and the patterns in which food fashions trickle up or down among classes. Also discussed are immigrants' gastronomic Americanization and, later, Americans' appropriation of ethnic foods; the concurrent rise of fast-food chains and ""gourmet"" dining; the politics of hunger from FDR on; and the far-from-original observation highlighted in the title: the paradox of hunger and plenty existing side by side. As the chronology proceeds and Levenstein (History/McMaster Univ., Ontario) comes closer to recent memory, the more impatient readers might become with his sweeping and cursory assertions and judgments--for example, his unspecific linking of New Left politics with the natural-foods movement, and his breezy dismissal of cholesterol concerns. (On this last topic, as throughout, he seems to be looking down with a faint disdain on all groups and views.) Still, Levenstein's examples and anecdotes of folly and worse, and his debunking of experts and authorities from Margaret Mead on, make lively reading.