Something from the Oven
Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America
A lively narrative history of how American home cooking changed in the 1950s?from "anti-cooking" marketing to Julia Child
In this captivating blend of culinary history and popular culture, the award-winning author of Perfection Salad shows us what happened when the food industry elbowed its way into the kitchen after World War II, brandishing canned hamburgers, frozen baked beans, and instant piecrusts. Big Business waged an all-out campaign to win the allegiance of American housewives, but most women were suspicious of the new foods—and the make-believe cooking they entailed. With sharp insight and good humor, Laura Shapiro shows how the ensuing battle helped shape the way we eat today, and how the clash in the kitchen reverberated elsewhere in the house as women struggled with marriage, work, and domesticity. This unconventional history overturns our notions about the ’50s and offers new thinking on some of its fascinating figures, including Poppy Cannon, Shirley Jackson, Julia Child, and Betty Friedan.
Introduction: Do Women Like to Cook?Shapiro’s research was exhaustive, but she feeds it to her readers in palatable portions... fascinating. (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
1. The Housewife's Dream
2. Something from the Oven
3. Don't Check Your Brains at the Kitchen Door
4. I Hate to Cook
5. Is She Real?
6. Now and Forever
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