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.
Fussell here does for beef what she did for maize in The Story of Corn. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Fussell (My Kitchen Wars; The Story of Corn) follows beefsteaks from cattle pens in 17th-century Manhattan to Brooklyn's Peter Luger Steak House today. On her visits to an independent Vermont butcher, ranching couples in Colorado and Oregon and feedlot owners in Kansas, Fussell critiques the polemical meat writing of Michael Pollan and the mythology of a rare, bloodied "he-man food" by giving an evenhanded look at the many sides of beef. One visit with Temple Grandin explores the work of the "outsider" cattle researcher who wants to foster a cow's-eye view of animal husbandry; similarly, Fussell's research into the lives of the men--and, particularly, the women--who raise and research cattle presents a human-eye view of an industry riddled with impersonal jargon and machismo. Fussell also participates in grading and weighing cuts of beef, attending an industry conference and even dressing in a pair of heels to play a part as a rodeo cowgirl. The breadth of her observations is impressive--from congressional decisions to simplified anecdotes from the voyage of Lewis and Clark and quotes from Woody Allen--but such details might become tedious for casual readers. Illus., with recipes. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF CORN Fussell . . . is totally and passionately in love with corn, and she treats it the way Cecil B. DeMille treated a Bible story--with zest and romance and hordes of gorgeously costumed extras.--The New York Times Book Review Fussell . . . can get away with phrases like 'the sexiness of corn' . . . The way she writes about it, is is--hypnotic, alluring, sustaining, and not a little bit mysterious.--Los Angeles Times --