The Taste of Empire by Lizzie Collingham
How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World

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Collingham's skill is to keep these sometimes heavy narratives engaging, often by poking fun at settlers' ideas of sophistication.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis


A history of the British Empire told through twenty meals eaten around the world

In The Taste of Empire, acclaimed historian Lizzie Collingham tells the story of how the British Empire's quest for food shaped the modern world. Told through twenty meals over the course of 450 years, from the Far East to the New World, Collingham explains how Africans taught Americans how to grow rice, how the East India Company turned opium into tea, and how Americans became the best-fed people in the world. In The Taste of Empire, Collingham masterfully shows that only by examining the history of Great Britain's global food system, from sixteenth-century Newfoundland fisheries to our present-day eating habits, can we fully understand our capitalist economy and its role in making our modern diets.

 

About Lizzie Collingham

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LIZZIE COLLINGHAM is the author of Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj and Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Having taught history at Warwick University she became a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge. She is now an independent scholar and writer. She has lived in Australia, France, and Germany and now lives near Cambridge with her husband and small daughter.
 
Published October 3, 2017 by Basic Books. 408 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Cooking, Political & Social Sciences, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Taste of Empire
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by Denise Balkissoon on Dec 14 2017

Collingham's skill is to keep these sometimes heavy narratives engaging, often by poking fun at settlers' ideas of sophistication.

Read Full Review of The Taste of Empire: How Brit... | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

The Economist

Above average
on Oct 19 2017

Such details are the strength of this book—and its weakness. Paragraphs are as studded with dates and numbers as a plum pudding with raisins. Still, it is hard to mind when many of them are so interesting.

Read Full Review of The Taste of Empire: How Brit... | See more reviews from The Economist

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