Midwest Maize

Midwest Maize : How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland

4.23 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
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Food historian Cynthia Clampitt pens the epic story of what happened when Mesoamerican farmers bred a nondescript grass into a staff of life so prolific, so protean, that it represents nothing less than one of humankind's greatest achievements. Blending history with expert reportage, she traces the disparate threads that have woven corn into the fabric of our diet, politics, economy, science, and cuisine. At the same time she explores its future as a source of energy and the foundation of seemingly limitless green technologies. The result is a bourbon-to-biofuels portrait of the astonishing plant that sustains the world.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 703.06g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252038916
  • 9780252038914

Review quote

"Where others have focused on maize in its heartland or maize as a food crop, Clampitt presents an environmental history of corn's role in the development of the Midwest. Filled with interesting factoids."--Plant Science Bulletin "A comprehensive, clear-eyed view of the plant that made America what it is today." --Betty Fussell, author of The Story of Corn "Corn is inextricably linked to Midwestern history, and Clampitt tells the incredible tale well. Midwest Maize is carefully researched, insightful and delightful to read." --Andrew F. Smith, author of Eating History "Clampitt's book is filled with kernels of interest that can stop you in the middle of a cob's row."--Cleveland Plain-Dealer "A controversial vegetable (or is it a grain?), corn has been alternately celebrated and excoriated in America. Food historian Cynthia Clampitt jumps into the fray with Midwest Maize. . . . Take a bite."--Los Angeles Magazine "Clampitt's research and reportage sustains the book, providing readers with a unique look at an adaptable plant that does so much for so many, providing not only food but myriad other resources that most of us take for granted."--Chicago Book Review "Food historian Cynthia Clampitt explores the astounding story of how corn developed from a humble grain into one of the greatest achievements in history. This is a likeable, deeply-researched book that deftly covers a great deal of territory for its size. . . . The serious stuff is balanced, too, with sections on popcorn, corn festivals, corn cuisine and more."--Edible Madison "[A] charming, engrossing book."--Chicago Sun Times "The author covers an extraordinary range of topics. . . . Midwest Maize is an excellent introduction for those wishing to learn more about the history of and current issues surrounding this high-profile cereal grass. Recommended."--Choiceshow more

About Cynthia Clampitt

Cynthia Clampitt is a food historian and travel writer, and the author of Waltzing Australia.show more

Rating details

21 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 52% (11)
4 24% (5)
3 19% (4)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
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