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California Studies in Food and Culture #41: The Life of Cheese: Crafting Food and Value in America

by

California Studies in Food and Culture #41: The Life of Cheese: Crafting Food and Value in America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Paxson's book, like her subject matter, is lively, evocative, and masterfully crafted."—Susanne Freidberg, author of Fresh: A Perishable History

“Through vivid storytelling, Heather Paxson advances a post-pastoral food ethos that reconsiders contemporary beliefs about Americas food commerce and culture, reimagines our relationship to the natural world, and redefines how we make, eat, and appreciate food. For cheese aficionados, activists, and food scholars alike, reading The Life of Cheese will be a transformative experience.”—Amy Trubek, author of The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir

The Life of Cheese is the definitive work on America's artisanal food revolution. Heather Paxson's engaging stories are as rich, sharp, and well-grounded as the product she scrutinizes. A must read for anyone interested in fostering a sustainable food system.”—Warren Belasco, author of Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food

“This vivid ethnography of contemporary artisan cheesemakers explores both the labor of hand crafting and the moral overtones of this calling. For those who participate, ‘the life of cheese is indeed a calling in the spiritual or philosophic sense, entailing a journey through the biopolitical world of agribusiness, bacterial cultures, and the FDA. After reading this book, visiting a cheese counter will never be the same!”—Theodore C. Bestor, author of Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World

“Anyone who loves cheese will find The Life of Cheese a fascinating read, illuminating layers of meaning in the artisan cheese revival that are rich and complex, like the flavors and textures of cheese itself. Heather Paxson is simultaneously documentarian and theoretician in her explorations of cheesemaking and its values, culture, socio-economics, and ‘microbiopolitics.”—Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation

Synopsis:

"Anyone who loves cheese will find The Life of Cheese a fascinating read, illuminating layers of meaning in the artisan cheese revival that are rich and complex, like the flavors and textures of cheese itself. Heather Paxson is simultaneously documentarian and theoretician in her explorations of cheesemaking and its values, culture, socio-economics, and 'microbiopolitics.'" Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation

"The Life of Cheese is the definitive work on America's artisanal food revolution. Heather Paxson's engaging stories are as rich, sharp, and well-grounded as the product she scrutinizes. A must read for anyone interested in fostering a sustainable food system." Warren Belasco, author of Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food

"Heather Paxson's lucid and engaging book, The Life of Cheese, is a gift to anyone interested in exploring the wonderful and wonderfully complex realities of artisan cheesemaking in the United States. Paxson deftly integrates careful considerations of the importance of sentiment, value and craft to the work of cheesemakers with vivid stories and lush descriptions of their farms, cheese plants and cheese caves. While she beguiles you with the stories and tastes of cheeses from Vermont, Wisconsin and California, she also asks you to envision a post-pastoral ethos in the making. This ethos reconsiders contemporary beliefs about America's food commerce and culture, reimagines our relationship to the natural world, and redefines how we make, eat, and appreciate food. For cheese aficionados, food activists, anthropologists and food scholars alike, reading The Life of Cheese will be a transformative experience." Amy Trubek, author of The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir

Synopsis:

Cheese is alive, and alive with meaning. Heather Paxsons beautifully written anthropological study of American artisanal cheesemaking tells the story of how craftwork has become a new source of cultural and economic value for producers as well as consumers. Dairy farmers and artisans inhabit a world in which their colleagues and collaborators are a wild cast of characters, including plants, animals, microorganisms, family members, employees, and customers. As “unfinished” commodities, living products whose qualities are not fully settled, handmade cheeses embody a mix of new and old ideas about taste and value. By exploring the life of cheese, Paxson helps rethink the politics of food, land, and labor today.

About the Author

Heather Paxson, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of Making Modern Mothers: Ethics and Family Planning in Urban Greece (UC Press).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Acknowledgments

1. American Artisanal

2. Ecologies of Production

3. Economies of Sentiment

4. Traditions of Invention

5. The Art and Science of Craft

6. Microbiopolitics

7. Place, Taste, and the Promise of Terroir

8. Bellwether

Appendix

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520270183
Author:
Paxson, Heather
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
anthropology;cultural anthropology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
California Studies in Food and Culture
Series Volume:
41
Publication Date:
20121231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 b/w photos, 3 graphs, 8 tables
Pages:
332
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Sociology » Agriculture and Food
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Profiles and Biographies

California Studies in Food and Culture #41: The Life of Cheese: Crafting Food and Value in America New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$30.95 In Stock
Product details 332 pages University of California Press - English 9780520270183 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"Anyone who loves cheese will find The Life of Cheese a fascinating read, illuminating layers of meaning in the artisan cheese revival that are rich and complex, like the flavors and textures of cheese itself. Heather Paxson is simultaneously documentarian and theoretician in her explorations of cheesemaking and its values, culture, socio-economics, and 'microbiopolitics.'" Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation

"The Life of Cheese is the definitive work on America's artisanal food revolution. Heather Paxson's engaging stories are as rich, sharp, and well-grounded as the product she scrutinizes. A must read for anyone interested in fostering a sustainable food system." Warren Belasco, author of Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food

"Heather Paxson's lucid and engaging book, The Life of Cheese, is a gift to anyone interested in exploring the wonderful and wonderfully complex realities of artisan cheesemaking in the United States. Paxson deftly integrates careful considerations of the importance of sentiment, value and craft to the work of cheesemakers with vivid stories and lush descriptions of their farms, cheese plants and cheese caves. While she beguiles you with the stories and tastes of cheeses from Vermont, Wisconsin and California, she also asks you to envision a post-pastoral ethos in the making. This ethos reconsiders contemporary beliefs about America's food commerce and culture, reimagines our relationship to the natural world, and redefines how we make, eat, and appreciate food. For cheese aficionados, food activists, anthropologists and food scholars alike, reading The Life of Cheese will be a transformative experience." Amy Trubek, author of The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir

"Synopsis" by ,
Cheese is alive, and alive with meaning. Heather Paxsons beautifully written anthropological study of American artisanal cheesemaking tells the story of how craftwork has become a new source of cultural and economic value for producers as well as consumers. Dairy farmers and artisans inhabit a world in which their colleagues and collaborators are a wild cast of characters, including plants, animals, microorganisms, family members, employees, and customers. As “unfinished” commodities, living products whose qualities are not fully settled, handmade cheeses embody a mix of new and old ideas about taste and value. By exploring the life of cheese, Paxson helps rethink the politics of food, land, and labor today.
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