Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What is Maureen Ogle reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Maureen Ogle, author of In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America.

Her entry begins:
I recently finished reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. That book’s a perfect example of the way “mood” can affect one’s reading choices: When the book came out in 2012, I read maybe ten pages and put it down. I suspected, without digging too deep into my psyche, that I wasn’t in the mood for what Mitchell had to offer and mentally filed the book under “Try later.” I’m glad I did. This time, Mitchell instantly transported me to late 18th century Japan, and kept me there, hostage to his extraordinary ability to capture the moments that make up life. In tone and complexity, Thousand Autumns is akin to Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell novels (Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies). As astonishing achievement and one of those books that...[read on]
About In Meat We Trust, from the publisher:
The untold story of how meat made America: a tale of the self-made magnates, pragmatic farmers, and impassioned activists who shaped us into the greatest eaters and providers of meat in history

The moment European settlers arrived in North America, they began transforming the land into a meat-eater’s paradise. Long before revolution turned colonies into nation, Americans were eating meat on a scale the Old World could neither imagine nor provide: an average European was lucky to see meat once a week, while even a poor American man put away about two hundred pounds a year.

Maureen Ogle guides us from that colonial paradise to the urban meat-making factories of the nineteenth century to the hyperefficient packing plants of the late twentieth century. From Swift and Armour to Tyson, Cargill, and ConAgra. From the 1880s cattle bonanza to 1980s feedlots. From agribusiness to today’s “local” meat suppliers and organic countercuisine. Along the way, Ogle explains how Americans’ carnivorous demands shaped urban landscapes, midwestern prairies, and western ranges, and how the American system of meat making became a source of both pride and controversy.
Learn more about the book and author at Maureen Ogle's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Ogle is a historian and the author of several books, including Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer.

The Page 69 Test: Ambitious Brew.

The Page 99 Test: In Meat We Trust.

Writers Read: Maureen Ogle.

--Marshal Zeringue