Warriors B2G1 Free

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Q&A | May 12, 2015

    Aleksandar Hemon: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Aleksandar Hemon

    Describe your latest book. The Making of Zombie Wars is a roller-coaster ride of violence and sex. The main character, Joshua Levin, is a modestly... Continue »
    1. $18.20 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      The Making of Zombie Wars

      Aleksandar Hemon 9780374203412

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $27.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Cooking and Food- Historical Food and Cooking

More copies of this ISBN

White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf


White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

How did white bread, once an icon of American progress, become “white trash”? In this lively history of bakers, dietary crusaders, and social reformers, Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows us that what we think about the humble, puffy loaf says a lot about who we are and what we want our society to look like.


White Bread teaches us that when Americans debate what one should eat, they are also wrestling with larger questions of race, class, immigration, and gender. As Bobrow-Strain traces the story of bread, from the first factory loaf to the latest gourmet pain au levain, he shows how efforts to champion “good food” reflect dreams of a better society—even as they reinforce stark social hierarchies.


In the early twentieth century, the factory-baked loaf heralded a bright new future, a world away from the hot, dusty, “dirty” bakeries run by immigrants. Fortified with vitamins, this bread was considered the original “superfood” and even marketed as patriotic—while food reformers painted white bread as a symbol of all that was wrong with America.


The history of America’s one-hundred-year-long love-hate relationship with white bread reveals a lot about contemporary efforts to change the way we eat. Today, the alternative food movement favors foods deemed ethical and environmentally correct to eat, and fluffy industrial loaves are about as far from slow, local, and organic as you can get. Still, the beliefs of early twentieth-century food experts and diet gurus, that getting people to eat a certain food could restore the nation’s decaying physical, moral, and social fabric, will sound surprisingly familiar. Given that open disdain for “unhealthy” eaters and discrimination on the basis of eating habits grow increasingly acceptable, White Bread is a timely and important examination of what we talk about when we talk about food.


About the Author

Aaron Bobrow-Strain is associate professor of politics at Whitman College in Washington. He writes and teaches on the politics of the global food system. He is the author of Intimate Enemies: Landowners, Power, and Violence in Chiapas.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Bread and Power

1) Untouched by Human Hands: Dreams of Purity and Contagion

2) The Invention of Sliced Bread: Dreams of Control and Abundance

3) The Staff of Death: Dreams of Health and Discipline

4)Vitamin Bread Boot Camp: Dreams of Strength and Defense

5) White Bread Imperialism: Dreams of Peace and Security

6)  How White Bread Became White Trash: Dreams of Resistance and Status

Conclusion Beyond Good Bread




Product Details

Bobrow Strain, Aaron
Beacon Press (MA)
Bobrow-Strain, Aaron
Sociology - General
World History-General
Publication Date:
9.3 x 6.26 x 0.97 in 1.18 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Tillerman Cycle #02: Dicey's Song Used Trade Paper $4.95
  2. Tillerman Saga #02: Dicey's Song
    Used Mass Market $2.95
  3. White Like Me: Reflections on Race...
    Used Trade Paper $8.00
  4. It's So Easy: And Other Lies Sale Trade Paper $8.98
  5. Outthink the Competition: How a New... Used Hardcover $17.50
  6. Compass Exam - Doug French's Verbal... New Trade Paper $18.95

Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Baking » Breads
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
History and Social Science » Sociology » Agriculture and Food
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Beacon Press - English 9780807044674 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.