By Aaron Bobrow-Strain
Beacon Press, $27.95, 272 pages

As you first browse the pages of White Bread, it seems like the text is as dry as slices of bread left out overnight. But you will be wrong. Aaron Bobrow-Strain, an enthusiastic and proficient home bread baker and an associate professor of politics, is an excellent writer. The book reads almost like a novel, and on every few pages you will find fascinating stories. However, it is also a scientific compilation based on heavy-duty research that obviously took years to accomplish. Over the book’s first two hundred pages it involves everything about bread-making history and commercialization, from local and global politics to big businesses and economics. Yet, without illustrations and with unbroken text, it is not a reading for your leisure hours. The pages are filled with quotes and superscript numbers referring to notes and references in the last thirty-eight pages of the book. Still, this serious volume is very readable even though it is not for the average reader. This is a good compilation, the index is thorough and it is ideal for libraries as reference book.

Reviewed by George Erdosh,