FOOD: Its Evolution Through the Ages; COMMUNICATION: Means and Technologies for Exchanging Information by Piero Ventura

FOOD: Its Evolution Through the Ages; COMMUNICATION: Means and Technologies for Exchanging Information

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Much anticipated additions to the series of books that track a particular phenomenon through its historic changes: Houses and Clothing have already appeared, to which are now added Food and Communication. In Food, Ventura begins with the hunting of small animals caught in holes dug in the ground, though he could have gone much farther back by discussing simple gathering. He then moves through Egyptian, Roman, and European food production, outlining the ways and means in concise, crisp language and depicting the events in wonderfully detailed and transporting drawings. Ventura also takes brief diversions through farm machinery, food processing, the perils of monoculture, and the boon of hygiene. A pleasure, but keep an eye out for the occasional strange piece of information, such as a diet of meat causes aggressive behavior -- when did that notion get blessing as gospel? Communication makes the long voyage from hieroglyphics to fiber optics, embracing a wealth of media, including Greek theater, sacred stories, strolling players, movies, radio, and television. Communication comes to represent more than just the conveyance of messages and information; it is also the telling of stories, the expression of emotions, even guerrilla theater of the Palestinian and Tupamaro varieties. As was also the case with Food, Ventura's text and drawings lose some of their inspiration and verve when they move out of the past into the present. This could be simply the result of Ventura's romance with history, but it could also be wholly unintentional social commentary on the unexpected consequences of development. A series with much realized promise and all sorts of potential.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin