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Diet and the Disease of Civilization (Hardback)
  • Diet and the Disease of Civilization (Hardback)
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Diet and the Disease of Civilization (Hardback)

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£84.50
Hardback 244 Pages / Published: 30/12/2017
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Diet books, which have been bestsellers for over a hundred years, contribute to a $60 billion industry as they speak to the 45 million Americans who diet every year. Yet these books don't just tell readers what to eat: they offer complete philosophies about who Americans are and how we all should live. Diet and the Disease of Civilization interrupts the predictable debate about eating right to ask a hard question: what if it's not calories-but concepts-that should be counted?

Cultural critic Adrienne Rose Bitar reveals how four popular diets recreate the "Fall of Man" as the narrative backbone for our national consciousness. Intensifying the moral panic of the obesity epidemic, they depict civilization itself as a disease and offer diet as the one true cure.

Bitar reads each diet-the Paleo Diet, the Garden of Eden Diet, the Pacific Island Diet, the detoxification or detox diet-as both a myth and a manual, a story with side effects igniting social movements, driving industry, and shaping fundamental ideas about sickness and health. These are fresh stories with broader concerns and higher stakes than we have previously understood. Diet and the Disease of Civilization unearths the ways in which diet books are actually utopian manifestos not just for better bodies but also for a healthier society and a more perfect world.

Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813589657
Number of pages: 244
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Diet and the Disease of Civilization on Campaign for the American Reader" by Marshal Zeringue--Campaign for the American Reader
Diet and the Disease of Civilization spotlight on 360 Magazine Online--360 Magazine
"[Diet and the Disease of Civilization] argues that mythologies of the 'Fall of Man' underlie the Paleo Diet and three other regimes popular in the United States."--Chronicle
Diet and the Disease of Civilization An Interview with Adrienne Rose Bitar by David Gerstle--Platypus Blog
"Diet and the Disease of Civilization is a timely and beautifully executed piece of work, providing a distinctly new perspective on the histories of food, the politics of fitness, and the development of popular self-help guides."--Benjamin Reiss "author of Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created our Restless World "
"Diet and the Disease of Civilization on The Page 99 Test" by Marshal Zeringue--The Page 99 Test
"Bitar's very well-researched and intriguing analysis is worth the read, perhaps to those more interested in American studies than in utopian studies. For those whose interests overlap in the two areas, Diet and the Disease of Civilization is ideal."--Utopian Studies Review
"Bitar looks at the ways the multi-billion dollar diet book industry not only delivers dieting advice, but also tells readers how they should live. Through historical and literary analysis, Bitar examines four diets that, in their language, tell a story beyond food. Instead, Diet and the Disease of Civilization points out that dieting systems portray anxieties about modernity and American culture, showing readers how diets can cure a national disease: civilization."--EcoWatch

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