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Eating Nature in Modern Germany

Eating Nature in Modern Germany
Food, Agriculture and Environment, c.1870 to 2000

$120.00 (C)

  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107188020

$ 120.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian and the Dachau concentration camp had an organic herb garden. Vegetarianism, organic farming, and other such practices have enticed a wide variety of Germans, from socialists, liberals, and radical anti-Semites in the nineteenth century to fascists, communists, and Greens in the twentieth century. Corinna Treitel offers a fascinating new account of how Germans became world leaders in developing more 'natural' ways to eat and farm. Used to conserve nutritional resources with extreme efficiency at times of hunger and to optimize the nation's health at times of nutritional abundance, natural foods and farming belong to the biopolitics of German modernity. Eating Nature in Modern Germany brings together histories of science, medicine, agriculture, the environment, and popular culture to offer the most thorough and historically comprehensive treatment yet of this remarkable story.

    • Examines the complex historical roots of a contemporary trend
    • Shows how developments in science, medicine, agriculture, popular culture, and politics produced and sustained this historical phenomenon
    • Explores the connections between eating naturally and other major biopolitical projects such as eugenics, racial hygiene, and pro-natalism, broadening the discussion of biopolitics in European history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Corinna Treitel has written a highly readable and informative book … She shows how important life reform was for the development of modern alternative diets and at the same time makes clear that a decades-long dynamic of criticism and co-optation between vastly different actors propelled the consolidation and wide dissemination of the 'natural diet'.' Laura-Elena Keck, translated from H-Soz-Kult (

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107188020
    • length: 402 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. Natural, a German history
    1. Hunger, citizenship, and the gospel of nature
    2. Being natural
    3. Nature and the nutrition question in Imperial and Weimar Germany
    4. Humans are only plants in nature's garden: remaking German agriculture, 1870–1939
    5. Nature and the Nazi diet
    6. Mainstreaming nature, pursuing health: food and the environmental turn in West Germany
    7. Masking nature, prescribing health: the East German experience
    Conclusion. The natural temptation.

  • Author

    Corinna Treitel, Washington University, St Louis
    Corinna Treitel is a historian at Washington University, St Louis. She is the author of A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern (2004), and has published articles in Central European History, Food and Foodways, Modern Intellectual History, and various edited volumes. She has received several major grants, including a year-long fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Massachusetts, a faculty research award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a mid-career fellowship from the Center for Humanities, Washington University.

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