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Kosher Nation by Sue Fishkoff
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Kosher Nation

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Kosher Nation by Sue Fishkoff
Hardcover $27.95
Oct 12, 2010 | ISBN 9780805242652

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    Oct 12, 2010 | ISBN 9780805242652

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  • Oct 12, 2010 | ISBN 9780805242881

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“The breadth of Fishkoff’s research is remarkable: no crumb, no bug is too minute for discussion. At the same time, she broaches larger questions about religious identity and acculturation, about marketing, commercialization, and globalization. As Kosher Nation ably demonstrates, what and how we eat remains a highly effective means of telling the story of who we are. . . . Expertly chronicled.”

“Fishkoff has made full use of her journalistic toolkit to deliver a fascinating look at a seemingly niche industry. Following the investigative DNA of Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan, Fishkoff shines a light on a national food trend that needed investigation.”
—The Huffington Post

“A refreshingly straightforward and well-researched piece of journalism. . . . Kosher Nation will likely find a home in college classrooms, book groups, and any place where discussing and exploring the subject at greater length is encouraged. . . . As the wrinkles of Jewish history unfold, readers will surely look to Kosher Nation for insight on how the foods Jews eat (and don’t eat) shape the Jewish community and, remarkably, the world.”
The Forward
“Fishkoff deliciously serves up the kashrut industry in Kosher Nation. [She is] entertaining and sympathetic throughout.”
The Wilson Quarterly

“Informative and richly researched. . . . Sensitive to the ways in which kashrut is at once a hoary ritual practice and a modern-day business, a spiritual pursuit and an earth-bound enterprise, Fishkoff has us see the many internal contradictions that keep the system spinning . . . documenting them instead of erasing them, and as a result they emerge with full force, to endow her narrative with bite and backbone. . . . A lively portrait of what is means to keep kosher in the twenty-first century . . . a fascinating tale of how the instruments of modernity often enlarge rather than diminish the parameters of religious experience.”
—Jenna Weissman Joselit, The New Republic

“Fishkoff delves into the ins and outs of why the kosher industry continues to grow at an astounding rate despite the small number of observant Jews who actually require kosher-certified food. . . . [A]n impressive arsenal of firsthand stories and inside information keeps the narrative moving. . . . Kosher Nation will engage readers with both the religious and professional facets of this complex and misunderstood standard as she explains why so many people prefer kosher cuisine despite its higher costs.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Kosher food has a definite spiritual meaning, but Fishkoff examines all aspects of the industry, from certifying agencies to kosher butchers to the effects of globalization, presenting general trends through anecdotes about individuals involved.  This makes the book more relatable. . . . Fishkoff accessibly presents information about current trends and their historical precedents. . . . She shows how definitions of kosher change in response to intra-Jewish developments, as well as to trends in America at large, such as industrial farming, the ascendance of big-box stores and ethical concerns like sustainable agriculture, animal welfare, and working conditions.  She is careful to define all terms that might be unfamiliar to readers without a Jewish background, and she provides a helpful glossary at the end of the book.  Thorough and approachable.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A revealing behind-the-scenes exploration of the kosher food industry and the people who work in it. Comprehensive, absorbing, and sometimes disturbing, Kosher Nation explains what ‘kosher supervision’ means and how it affects every American who purchases food.”
Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University, and author of American Judaism: A History

“Like the eyes of the dedicated mashgichim Fishkoff profiles, Kosher Nation leaves no corner of this once-mysterious world in the dark. Comforting as kugel yet daring as kosher bacon bits, this book should be glued to the back of the Talmud as mandatory reading.”
David Sax, author of Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen

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