In this Book

Eating in Eden
summary
Perennially viewed as both a utopian land of abundant resources and a fallen nation of consummate consumers, North America has provided a fertile setting for the development of distinctive foodways reflecting the diverse visions of life in the United States. Immigrants, from colonial English Puritans and Spanish Catholics to mid-twentieth-century European Jews and contemporary Indian Hindus, have generated innovative foodways in creating “new world” religious and ethnic identities. The Shakers, the Oneida Perfectionists, and the Amana Colony, as well as 1970s counter-cultural groups, developed food practices that distinguished communal members from outsiders, but they also marketed their food to nonmembers through festivals, restaurants, and cookbooks. Other groups—from elite male dining clubs in Revolutionary America and female college students in the late 1800s, to members of food co-ops; vegetarian Jews and Buddhists; and “foodies” who watched TV cooking shows—have used food strategically to promote their ideals of gender, social class, nonviolence, environmentalism, or taste in the hope of transforming national or global society.

This theoretically informed, interdisciplinary collection of thirteen essays broadens familiar definitions of utopianism and community to explore the ways Americans have produced, consumed, avoided, and marketed food and food-related products and meanings to further their visionary ideals.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-32
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  1. I. New World Utopias: Cultivating Immigrant Identities through Food
  2. pp. 33-34
  1. 1. Pinched with Hunger, Partaking of Plenty: Fasts and Thanksgivings in Early New England
  2. pp. 35-53
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  1. 2. Faith, Flatulence, and Fandangos in the Spanish-American Borderlands
  2. pp. 54-73
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  1. 3. An Appetite for America: Philip Roth's Antipastorals
  2. pp. 74-88
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  1. 4. You Are Where You Eat: Negotiating Hindu Utopias in Atlanta
  2. pp. 89-106
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  1. II. Communal Utopias: Eating In, but Not Of, the World
  2. pp. 107-108
  1. 5. Kitchen Sisters and Disagreeable Boys: Debates over Meatless Diets in Nineteenth-Century Shaker Communities
  2. pp. 109-124
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  1. 6. Strawberries and Cream: Food, Sex, and Gender at the Oneida Community
  2. pp. 125-142
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  1. 7. Food and Social Relations in Communal and Capitalist Amana
  2. pp. 143-161
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  1. 8. Recipes for a New World: Utopianism and Alternative Eating in Vegetarian Natural-Foods Cookbooks, 1970–84
  2. pp. 162-184
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  1. III. Strategic Utopias: Cooking Up Values for a New World
  2. pp. 185-186
  1. 9. "This Fatal Cake": The Ideals and Realities of Republican Virtue in Eighteenth-Century America
  2. pp. 187-202
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  1. 10. "The Chafing Dish and the College Girl": The Evolution and Meaning of the "Spread" at Northern Women's Colleges, 1870–1910
  2. pp. 203-219
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  1. 11. Revolution in a Can: Food, Class, and Radicalism in the Minneapolis Co-op Wars of the 1970s
  2. pp. 220-238
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  1. 12. Veggieburger in Paradise: Food as World Transformer in Contemporary American Buddhism and Judaism
  2. pp. 239-257
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  1. 13. The Pixel Chef: PBS Television Cooking Shows and Sensorial Utopias
  2. pp. 258-274
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 275-278
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 279-291
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