Call Number:
641.5 OTT
Publisher, Date:
Seattle, WA : University of Washington Press, c2012.
xvi, 323 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Current Requests:
System Availability:1 (of 1)
Why do so many Americans drive for miles each autumn to buy a vegetable that they are unlikely to eat? While most people around the world eat pumpkin throughout the year, North Americans reserve it for holiday pies and other desserts that celebrate the harvest season and the rural past. They decorate their houses with pumpkins every autumn and welcome Halloween trick-or-treaters with elaborately carved jack-o'-lanterns. Towns hold annual pumpkin festivals featuring giant pumpkins and carving contests, even though few have any historic ties to the crop.In this fascinating cultural and natural history, Cindy Ott tells the story of the pumpkin. Beginning with the myth of the first Thanksgiving, she shows how Americans have used the pumpkin to fulfill their desire to maintain connections to nature and to the family farm of lore, and, ironically, how small farms and rural communities have been revitalized in the process. And while the pumpkin has inspired American myths and traditions, the pumpkin itself has changed because of the ways people have perceived, valued, and used it. Pumpkin is a smart and lively study of the deep meanings hidden in common things and their power to make profound changes in the world around us. Cindy Ott is assistant professor of American Studies at Saint Louis University. "From the symbolism of pumpkins in classical and medieval mythology, to locavores and harvest festivals, Ott's paean to pumpkins is important, entertaining, and enlightening."--Warren Belasco, author of Food, the Key Concepts. "An original, carefully researched, engagingly written, even playful and witty foray into the exploding field of food history by an up-and-coming star in the field. How appropriate that so delightful a vegetable has an equally delightful book to pay it tribute."--from the Foreword by William Cronon-- Provided by publisher.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Corn, beans, and just another squash : 10,000 BCE to 1600 -- "The times wherein old Pompion was a saint" : from pumpkin beer to pumpkin pie, 1600 to 1799 -- Thoreau sits on a pumpkin : the making of a rural New England icon, 1800 to 1860 -- "Wonderfully grand and colossal" : the pumpkin and the nation, 1861 to 1899 -- Jack-o'-lantern smiles : Americans celebrate the Fall harvest with pumpkins, 1900 to 1945 -- Atlantic giants to jack-be-littles : the changing nature of pumpkins, 1946 to the present -- Pulling up a pig sty to put in a pumpkin patch : the changing nature of American rural economics, 1946 to the present.
9780295991955 (hardback)
029599195X (hardback)
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