I was so pleased to be featured in the History Channel miniseries, The Food That Built America. It's a great mix of history and drama, with talking heads like me interspersed with quite wonderful reenactments of the famous personalities featured in the show.
But a Facebook comment made me realize, that most people don't know these stories at all! The History Channel has featured some of them as articles on their website, but I thought, why not put together a bibliography for folks who wanted a deeper dive?
Here are some of the books by authors featured in the show, as well as a couple of others that give great context to the period. (Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and will receive a small commission from any books published from these links.)
The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Markel (featured talking head).
For God, Country, and Coca-Cola by Mark Pendergrast (featured talking head).
The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars by Joël Glenn Brenner (featured talking head).
H is for Hershey by Heather Paterno (featured talking head).
Selling 'em by the Sack: White Castle and the Creation of American Food by David G. Hogan (featured talking head).
Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of the American Diet by Harvey Levenstein. Essential reading for understanding American food at the turn of the 20th century.
Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee by Bee Swinson. An eye-opening look at food before regulation.
Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man by Mark Kurlansky.
Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams Paperback by Michael D'Antonio
American Empress: The Life and Times of Marjorie Merriweather Post by Nancy Rubin Stuart
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I thought it would be fun to compile a few "further reading" options for those who loved the show.
Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.
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