FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alia Hanna Habib
“An engaging, eclectic examination of the role of beef in the formation of American myth and reality.”
“No one writes better about the byways of American food and American culture than Betty Fussell. RAISING STEAKS is a brisk, thoroughly absorbing journey through the geography of beef in America.”
“Meat lovers and not will want to read this book for its fresh look at the myths and realities of the beef industry from the perspective of a serious eater who cares most deeply about how steak tastes on the plate.”
The Life and Times of American Beef
By Betty Fussell
When we bite into a steak’s charred crust and pink interior, we bite into contradictions that have branded our national identity from the start. In a single forkful, we taste the collision between wilderness and progress, rugged individualism and corporate technology, the wet-weather East and the desert West.
No one understands these contradictions better than acclaimed food historian Betty Fussell. In RAISING STEAKS: The Life and Times of American Beef (October 6, 2008, Harcourt), Fussell takes us for a spirited ride across America on the trail of our most iconic food. With her distinctive intertwining of history and personal narrative, Fussell shows us a dynamic America, one that veers between contradictory fantasies of virgin wilderness and property rights, of the hero as gunman and as scientific inventor, of an eternal frontier and a lost one.
Through profiles of contemporary cattlemen and meat scientists, trips to stock shows and rodeos, conversations with corporate feeders and cowboy hatters, green environmentalists and industrial processors, buffalo breeders and mad-cow-obsessed mothers, Fussell re-creates a uniquely American pageant. It’s the epic story of East versus West, of English versus Spanish, and of pastureland versus desert. It dramatizes the enduring conflict in America between the Cowboy and the Machine—and of America itself. RAISING STEAKS is a celebration of, and an elegy for, a uniquely American dream.
About the author
Betty Fussell is the author of ten previous books, including The Story of Corn and My Kitchen Wars. A contributor to the New York Times, The New Yorker, Saveur, Food & Wine, Gastronomica, and other publications, she has also lectured widely on food history. Western born, she lives in New York City.