Food Fights and Culture Wars


Debauchery! Revolution! Tamales and class identity, carp and the crusades, chilli stew and Aztec cannibalism. In this eclectic book of food history, Tom Nealon suggests that hunger and taste are the twin forces that secretly defined the course of civilization.

Product details

Throughout war and plague, revolution and migration, people have always had to eat. What and how they ate provoked culinary upheaval around the world as ingredients were traded and fought over, and populations desperately trod the line between satiety and deficiency. Parallel to the history books, a second, obscurer, history was also being recorded in the cookbooks of the time, which charted the evolution of meals and the transmission of ingredients around the world. The author explores the mysteries at the intersection of food and society. Beautifully illustrated from numerous sources, this wide-ranging book addresses some of the fascinating, forgotten stories behind every day dishes and processes. Among many conspiracies and controversies, the author meditates on the connections between the French Revolution and table settings, food thickness and colonialism, and lemonade and the Black Plague.

Tom Nealon
British Library
Publication date
October 2016
224 pages

You may also like

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Keep up to date with news and events at the British Library

Sign up to our newsletter Subscribe