Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Food by Jennifer A. Jordan, a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, is a botanical and agricultural-focused social history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.
This is their featured Free Book of the Month for October.
The book is an accessibly-written combined social, scientific, and food industry history which spotlights selected fruits and vegetables both common and uncommon, as they go from global luxuries to local staples or vice versa over the centuries—gaining or losing popularity with changing tastes, becoming hybridized for convenient selling qualities for the mass market or preserved in “heirloom” forms for upscale consumption and otherwise evolving in physical form and cultural meaning—interwoven with the author’s observations of the associations the foods evoke in people from the hobby gardeners and professional farmers who grow them, to the end consumer who eats them, to the national identities they may be tied to (as in the case of the US and apple pie).
Offered worldwide through October, available directly from the university’s website.
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That’s the Way It Is: A History of Television News in America by Charles L. Ponce de Leon, a professor of history at California State University, is a social history of the media industry and surrounding culture, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.
This is their featured Free Book of the Month for September.
This accessibly-written social history covers the origins and gradual evolution of TV news broadcasting and audience reception in the US from the 1940s to the present day, dispelling popular notions of a golden age of reporting which has declined into exploitative celebrity-obsessed frivolity—instead presenting the mixed reality of serious journalism, silly gossip, and politicization which has existed since the beginning, alongside entertaining anecdotes about key figures in media history.
Offered worldwide through September, available directly from the university’s website.
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Long Voyage Home: True Stories from Britain’s Twilight Maritime Years by British author Tim Madge, an historian and journalist, is a history of the British Navy and merchant fleets in the 20th century, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.
This was originally published in 1993 by Simon & Schuster and has been updated with a new foreword and afterword for this reprint edition, commenting on the state of naval affairs which has developed in the past 25 years.
This history provides an overview of the British Navy and civilian merchant fleets throughout the 20th century (with a brief update addressing developments in the 21st), from the rise of British marine power in the late Victorian era, drawing upon first-hand accounts to provide a picture of the experiences of the officers and crews of the ships in war and peace, as well as examining the economic and psychological ramifications of modern technological changes.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
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