An astute, highly informative food exposé that educates without bias, leaving the culinary decision-making to readers.

HIPPIE FOOD

HOW BACK-TO-THE-LANDERS, LONGHAIRS, AND REVOLUTIONARIES CHANGED THE WAY WE EAT

A gastronomic study of the gradual integration of organic food choices into public consumption.

San Francisco Chronicle James Beard Award–winning food journalist Kauffman, who worked as a line cook, gives overdue credit to an organic agricultural movement whose popularity spread like wildfire in the 1970s. He digs deeply into the evolution of the hippie counterculture and how particular foods became staples and how they were included on dinner tables across the world. Raised in the 1970s in an “ultraliberal” Mennonite community, the author writes that his family’s diet changed forever with the incorporation of the “earthy, fresh, and none too complex” foods featured in a 1976 copy of home economist Doris Janzen Longacre’s More-With-Less Cookbook. This ideal entails stripping cuisine “back to its preindustrial roots,” without pesticides, packaging, additives, or processing and devoid of meat. Kauffman tackles this subject journalistically, with interviews and commentary from the chefs and food co-op employees who became part of a larger movement to change the direction of the global diet while remaining mindful of its ecological footprint. He shows how formerly “fringe” foods like alfalfa sprouts, tofu, granola, carob, brown rice, and whole-wheat breads were popularized by the Southern California health-food and vitamin scene in the 1960s, as well as the “exotic” macrobiotic and whole food diets that proliferated in places like the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco. Moving forward, the author further analyzes the ways these naturally sourced foods developed into a distinctive cuisine touting both eco-friendly and mind-body benefits, and he documents the nationwide natural food revolution through the voices of organic farmers, homesteaders, and innovative vegetarian cooks. In an intelligently written narrative refreshingly free of personal admonitions or detractions, Kauffman comprehensively presents the history and the momentum of the organic food revolution while foraging for the keys to its increasing desirability and crossover appeal.

An astute, highly informative food exposé that educates without bias, leaving the culinary decision-making to readers.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-243730-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular...

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WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

A neurosurgeon with a passion for literature tragically finds his perfect subject after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.

Writing isn’t brain surgery, but it’s rare when someone adept at the latter is also so accomplished at the former. Searching for meaning and purpose in his life, Kalanithi pursued a doctorate in literature and had felt certain that he wouldn’t enter the field of medicine, in which his father and other members of his family excelled. “But I couldn’t let go of the question,” he writes, after realizing that his goals “didn’t quite fit in an English department.” “Where did biology, morality, literature and philosophy intersect?” So he decided to set aside his doctoral dissertation and belatedly prepare for medical school, which “would allow me a chance to find answers that are not in books, to find a different sort of sublime, to forge relationships with the suffering, and to keep following the question of what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.” The author’s empathy undoubtedly made him an exceptional doctor, and the precision of his prose—as well as the moral purpose underscoring it—suggests that he could have written a good book on any subject he chose. Part of what makes this book so essential is the fact that it was written under a death sentence following the diagnosis that upended his life, just as he was preparing to end his residency and attract offers at the top of his profession. Kalanithi learned he might have 10 years to live or perhaps five. Should he return to neurosurgery (he could and did), or should he write (he also did)? Should he and his wife have a baby? They did, eight months before he died, which was less than two years after the original diagnosis. “The fact of death is unsettling,” he understates. “Yet there is no other way to live.”

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular clarity.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8840-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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