Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-2753-8 • Hardback • August 2014 • $55.00 • (£42.00)
978-1-4422-2754-5 • eBook • August 2014 • $49.00 • (£38.00)
Tim Miller is an associate professor of history at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kansas. He previously published an article on the history of barbecue in the Journal of American Culture. He writes about all aspects of American food history on his blog Grog to Grits.
Chapter 1: The History of Barbecue
Chapter 2: Classic Barbecue Fare
Chapter 3: Barbecue Eaten Out
Chapter 4: Barbecue Around the World
Chapter 5: Barbecue in the Arts and Popular Media
Considerable research supports Miller’s examination of barbecue. It’s clear that his status as a historian along with his love of food (see his blog, Grog to Grits) make for a perfect combination. Indeed, he considers anything barbecue his province, from history and classic fare to restaurants, global variations, and barbecue in the arts and popular media. His presentation is chronological, thorough, and written for popular reading. Barbecue is tracked from just before (and after) Columbus’ discovery of America to its 1950s heyday. Although he doesn’t always follow standard recipe format–that is, ingredients, equipment, prep and cooking time, and instructions–Miller features a few directions with the caveat that the dish has not been tested for accuracy and taste. Any foodie will enjoy his foray into barbecue restaurants (seven in all, including Famous Dave’s) as well as his survey of world barbecue, which is about grilled meat rather than the sauces and rubs Americans are accustomed to.
In this, his first book, Miller explores a seemingly innocuous topic that is in fact steeped in so much lore and argument that even the definition of barbecue is hotly debated in some circles. This book, part of 'The Meals' series, outlines history, delves into cultural impacts, and also provides some recipes. . . .The opening pages explain that barbecue may be considered a food, a way of cooking, or a type of gathering. Miller addresses it as all three, thus massively increasing the book's scope. . . .[T]he author admirably describes barbecue from a sociological perspective, particularly its role in the segregated South where barbecue restaurants were one of the few places where races would mix. . . .Summing Up: Recommended. All undergraduate and culinary institute food history collections.
— Choice Reviews
Barbecue: A History by Tim Miller is an interesting addition to Rowman & Littlefield’s excellent 'The Meals Series,' which is edited by Ken Albala and discusses various aspects of breakfast, lunch, and dinner—three daily rituals that most of us take for granted—in the context of everyday life and culture.... [The book] contains a wealth of interesting information about barbecuing meat, especially in the USA. Eating a burnt sausage in a ketchup-soaked bun may never be the same.
— Journal of American Culture
Exploring the complexity of barbecue as a meal as well as a mode of outdoor cookery, Tim Miller marshals an array of sources into a lively culinary history that charts the diversity of an American fascination and its global connections. Describing in vivid detail the construction of barbecue pits and patios, preparation of meats that range from pork to armadillo, arrays of sauces and sides, great moments in barbecue history, and barbecue fandom and boosterism, Miller maps the barbecue landscape with enthusiasm and insight. Highlights include Miller’s commentary on the development and culture of barbecue restaurants, menus, competitions, cookbooks, and literature. In quest of an introduction to the history and culture of barbecue? Miller serves it up in style.
— Bernard L. Herman, George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Barbecue: A History is an engaging and comprehensive look at the curious twists and turns in the history of barbecue; it is particularly valuable for taking an international perspective.
— Rachel Laudan, author of Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History
Barbecue: A History is an immensely fun and informative book. Tracing the evolution of the word and the cuisine from its Native American origins to its international appeal today, Tim Miller is a winning guide to the foods, restaurants, and culture that make up the world of barbecue. Anyone who has ever sat down to a plate of ribs or thrown a steak on the grill will find something to love here.
— Joshua Rothman, professor of history and African American studies; Director, Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South, University of Alabama
From Columbus at Guantanamo Bay to Reality TV, Tim Miller traces the entire history of what we call barbecue in all its meanings and flavors. No one has ever captured America’s greatest culinary tradition, its origins, influences, and recipes so completely in one volume.
— Derrick Riches, barbecue and grilling expert, bbq.about.com