Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Sweet Land of Liberty: A History of America in 11 Pies

Sweet Land of Liberty: A History of America in 11 Pies is a well written microhistory of the social growth and development of the USA as related to food, specifically pies curated and written by Rossi Anastopoulo. Released 25th Oct 2022 by Abrams, it's 336 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is an accessible, almost conversational, history of the USA as it intersects pies. The author has included recipes for each of the 11 pies featured in the essays. The history parts of the book don't always make for comfortable reading. I've heard that if history makes you feel proud and comfortable, then you're not reading about history. There were a number of uncomfortable undeniable hard truths included here: namely that the USA was built on the backs of enslaved people and brought about largely on lands stolen from indigenous peoples. 

There are careful annotations and chapter notes included throughout, which will provide keen readers with many hours of further reading. Despite being very well researched and annotated throughout, it's not at all academically stiff or formal or difficult to understand. 

Although I didn't fully test any of the recipes, I didn't see any glaring errors with a careful read-through. The recipes are written with ingredients provided in a sidebar bullet list. Ingredient measurements are given in both imperial (American) and metric units (yay!!). There are no photos of pies (or indeed anything else) included in the eARC provided for review. The layout of the recipes is easy to navigate and will undoubtedly produce a good pie with care. 

Four stars. It's an odd premise for a book (which the author freely admits). I found it fascinating, honestly and unflinchingly written, and in places, quite fun. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

No comments:

Post a Comment