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Food Power: The Rise and Fall of the Postwar American Food System (Hardback)Bryan L. McDonald (author)
Hardback 264 Pages / Published: 29/12/2016
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In Food Power, Bryan L. McDonald brings together the history of food, agriculture, and foreign policy to explore the use of food to promote American national security and national interests during the first three decades of the Cold War. In the years after World War II, Americans struggled to understand how an unprecedented abundance of food could be used to best advance American goals and values. Was food a weapon, a commodity to be valued and exchanged through markets, or a substance to be provided to those in need? The use of food as an element of national power is often referred to as "food power." McDonald traces different visions of food power and shows how food was an essential part of America's postwar modernization strategy - its vision of what it meant to be a stable, secure, and technologically advanced nation. Debates during the postwar years about how food power could help the United States achieve goals such as stability, prosperity, and security were part of a larger conversation about the role of food in the security of states, communities, and individuals. America helped build a new, postwar food system based on the steadying influence of American agricultural surpluses that helped maintain stable prices and food availability. This system averted a global-scale food crisis for almost three decades. The end of this food system in the early 1970s ushered in a much more unstable period in global food relations. Food Power argues that efforts to both interpret America's role in the world during the mid-twentieth century and to address contemporary food problems can be strengthened by understanding more fully the ways postwar American policymakers and experts sought to shape the politics of security and prosperity by linking people and places around the world through food.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 500 g
Dimensions: 242 x 164 x 23 mm
Food Power: The Rise and Fall of the Postwar American Food System takes this superfluity of food as its central concern, tracking the political dynamic by which surplus food was either a problem to be eliminated or a boon to international diplomatic strategies ... It is a fascinating story that brings together a number of historical strands, including the effect of science and technology on both farming and food production, the role of World War II in creating an unprecedented food system, the challenges of electoral politics, and the various kinds of political philosophy and strategies that different secretaries of agriculture followed in wrestling with these problems ... McDonald's book is important and accessible, and it sheds new light on the challenges governments face in balancing production, consumption, and political survival. * Deborah Fitzgerald, American Historical Review *
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