Chock-full of fascinating details and more than 100 recipes.

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MILK!

A 10,000-YEAR FOOD FRACAS

A wide-ranging history of a surprisingly controversial form of nourishment.

Milk, from humans and a variety of animals, is the subject of the latest enthusiastic investigation by the prolific Kurlansky (Paper: Paging Through History, 2016, etc.), winner of the James Beard Award and Bon Appetit’s Food Writer of the Year Award, among other accolades. For 10,000 years, milk has been “the most argued-over food in human history,” the author asserts, with experts opining about whether milk was fit for human consumption, whether babies should be breast-fed (and by whom—their own mothers or wet nurses), which mammal produced the best milk, whether milk should be pasteurized and homogenized, how cows should be raised and milked, and what effects such interventions as hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified crops have on the milk we consume. Although many cultures feature milk-based creation myths, breast-feeding has long been a source of contention. Excavations of ancient Roman gravesites have turned up baby milk bottles, indicating that some babies were artificially fed. In the Middle Ages, artificial feeding was common, with numerous recipes for baby formulas; in 1816, one writer advised that babies should be suckled on goats, setting off a trend throughout Europe. Also popular was the employment of wet nurses, who often became live-in domestics. The choice of wet nurse was not simple: Many believed that the baby would inherit the nurse’s disposition and traits; one doctor recommended that “a brunette with her first child, which should be a boy” made the ideal wet nurse. Especially in cities, spoilage, unclean udders, and unsanitary dairies caused illness and a great number of infant deaths. Pasteurization was a solution, but consumers complained about the taste. Debate about the safety of raw milk, much prized by cheese makers and organic farmers, still rages. Kurlansky looks at the production of milk and its uses in liquid and solid form (yogurt, butter, cheese, ice cream, pudding) around the world throughout history and into the present.

Chock-full of fascinating details and more than 100 recipes.

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63286-382-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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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 PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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