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Potatoes and Point

Angela Carter, 22 May 1986

The History and Social Influence of the Potato 
by Redcliffe Salaman, edited by J.G. Hawkes.
Cambridge, 729 pp., £35, November 1985, 0 521 07783 4
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... only partially cooked (‘wid de bones in ’em’): that way, they stayed longer in the belly. Redcliffe Salaman’s monumental book was first published in 1949, though it bears the mark of many long years in the making. A revised edition now appears with a new introduction by J.G. Hawkes. This account of the causes and effects of European ...

Homage to Rhubarb

David Allen, 8 October 1992

Rhubarb: The Wondrous Drug 
by Clifford Foust.
Princeton, 317 pp., £27.50, April 1992, 0 691 08747 4
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... to the often remarkably involved careers of the more familiar fruits and vegetables. For long, Redcliffe Salaman held this field alone, with his justly-renowned History and Social Influence of the Potato. Smaller-scale and little-known by comparison, but in its unambitious way hardly less fascinating, is N.W. Simmonds’s monograph on bananas, with ...

Goodbye Columbus

Eric Hobsbawm, 9 July 1992

... and rice.) The classic work on ‘the history and social influence of the potato’ was written by Redcliffe Salaman as long ago as 1949. Arturo Warman’s La historia de un bastardo: maiz y capitalismo was published in 1988. Both these excellent works demonstrate how far beyond mere food the social history of these crops takes us. But what about those ...

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