Author @ the Library, January 2013
Annotation:With the possible exception of apple pie, no American food is more iconic than peanut butter. On January 3, Jon Krampner tells you everything you ever wanted to know about peanut butter but couldn't ask about because it was stuck to the roof of your mouth.
Annotation:Mark Katz's illustrated lecture on January 7 explores the exit strategies for the United States in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The way out of Iraq, and now Afghanistan, are both issues that have plagued the Obama administration since 2008. Questions raised include: should the US continue to pour its resources into the region, having fought two wars, both of which are seemingly intractable? or, does pulling out of Iraq and then Afghanistan in short order signal the decline of American power and influence in the region that will fuel anti-American sentiments?
Annotation:Jennifer L. Anderson's visual talk on January 8 traces the path of this wood through many hands, from source to sale: from the enslaved African woodcutters, including skilled “huntsmen” who located the elusive trees amidst dense rainforest, to the ship captains, merchants, and timber dealers who scrambled after the best logs, to the skilled cabinetmakers who crafted the wood, and with it the tastes and aspirations of their diverse clientele.
Annotation:What do TV cooking shows teach us? In her illustrated talk, "TV Takeaway," on January 9, Kathleen Collins explores the history of the genre starting in the 1940s including the parade of hosts and the lessons they brought to viewers - both explicit in their actions and recipes and implicit in their sets, ingredients and personas.
Annotation:January 10. In his visual presentation, "The Hard Way to Machu Picchu," Mark Adams explores how an adventure travel magazine editor with little actual outdoor experience attempts to recreate one of history's most famous expeditions, the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. Accompanied by a tough Australian guide and several Quechua-speaking mule tenders, he journeys through the mountains and jungles of Peru and makes some surprising, painful and occasionally supernatural discoveries of his own.
Annotation:"Dishing the Dirt with Dirt Candy" with Amanda Cohen, Ryan Dunlavey and Grady Hendrix. The authors discuss the first graphic novel cookbook, the only restaurant in New York City devoted entirely to vegetables and other topics on January 14.
Annotation:January 16. On the centenary of her birth, and to honor her culinary legacy and her birthday, the Bob Spitz provides a clear-eyed portrait of one of the most fascinating and influential Americans of our time — a woman known to all, yet known by only a few. It’s rare for someone to emerge in America who can change our attitudes, our beliefs, and our very culture. It’s even rarer when that someone is a middle-aged, six-foot three-inch woman whose first exposure to an unsuspecting public is cooking an omelet on a hot plate on a local TV station.
Annotation:Dian Kochilas, one of Greece's greatest culinary authorities captures all the glory and diversity of Greek cuisine in this illustrated lecture on January 23. Her color photographs bring to life Greece's unique and historical food culture.
Annotation:January 24. This provocative visual talk is a revelatory account of the biggest threats we face as a species—and what we can do to save ourselves. The science and technology writer gives pulls no punches about the global trends that threaten humanity.
Annotation:January 28. The author's mother, Sarah Lewendel, a Jewish woman originally from Poland, disappeared in the vortex of the Nazi extermination machine on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Her son has lived with this tragedy for over sixty-five years and has carefully reconstructed the history of the Holocaust in Provence, the Vaucluse, and its main city, Avignon. Germany invaded southern France in November 1942 and the German police made abundant use of freelance Jew hunters, who eagerly seized the opportunity. This lecture details of Nazi and Vichy anti-Semitic policy and analyzes the mechanisms of collaboration with its Mafia component.
Annotation:Robin Shulman's illustrated lecture on January 29 places today’s urban food production in the context of hundreds of years of history and traces how we got to where we are. The author introduces the people of New York City who have in the past and in the present grown vegetables, butchered meat, fished local waters, cut and refined sugar, kept bees for honey, brewed beer, and made wine. In the most heavily built urban environment in the country, she shows an organic city full of intrepid and eccentric people who want to make things grow.
Annotation:In this visual presentation on January 30, Eric Asimov examines why the American wine culture produces such feelings of anxiety about choosing wine and suggests how the members of the audience can overcome their fears and develop a sense of discovery and wonder as they explore the diversity and complexity of the world of wine.