I have been a fan of Michael LaCombe’s work since reading his June 2010 article in the American Historical Review, “‘A continuall and dayly Table for Gentlemen of fashion’: Humanism, Food, and Authority at Jamestown, 1607–1609,” which I regularly assign to my classes. The central argument of Political Gastronomy, like the article, is that the harsh American environment, where the balance of power favored the American Indians, was an arena of experimentation in which leaders and settlers used food to evaluate the competing ideologies about authority and governance that they brought from Europe. LaCombe’s adviser, Karen Kupperman, depicted early Jamestown in similar terms in her 2007 book The Jamestown Project, but Lacombe’s scope is significantly broader; he convincingly shows that, as in Virginia, leaders in New England, Bermuda, and Newfoundland constantly improvised using a stockpile of European tropes and models of social structure. He traces these adaptations...
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Book Review| April 01 2017
Political Gastronomy: Food and Authority in the English Atlantic World
Political Gastronomy: Food and Authority in the English Atlantic World. By LaCombe, Michael A.. (
University of Pennsylvania Press,
224 pp., acknowledgments, introduction, illustrations, index. $39.95 cloth.)
Ethnohistory (2017) 64 (2): 343–344.
Jessica Y. Stern; Political Gastronomy: Food and Authority in the English Atlantic World. Ethnohistory 1 April 2017; 64 (2): 343–344. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-3789481
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