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Books by Robert Appelbaum
Working the Aisles:
A Life in Consumption

'A harrowing performance in lived theory'.

-- Kimberly Johnson  

'Covering roughly 50 years, from 1960 till a few years ago,
Working the Aisles paints a telling
picture of the astounding economic and social changes of the half century. This is a very
entertaining and at the same time melancholy and thoughtful novel-like trip into our ever-
growing appetites.

-- Josip Novakovic

Dishing It Out: In Search of the Restaurant Experience

A serious examination of the restaurant but also a wildly funny and human romp through
restaurant culture high and low . . . Appelbaum’s recounting of visits to restaurants while
researching the book and memories of restaurants past are among the most evocative and
compelling “reviews” I have read.’ – Sydney Morning Herald

Dishing It Out is a banquet of reflections, some personal, some scholarly, some
theoretical and critical, on the nature of the restaurant from its origins in Revolutionary
France to its decadence in the consumerist culture of today.

Here you will find discussions of Grimod de la Reynière, the first restaurant critic,
Jean-Paul Sartre, for whom Nausea in the restaurant takes centre-stage, urban renewal in
Le Havre, Michelin-star restaurants in modern London, and the communist restaurant
imagined by William Morris. And here you will find a lot to laugh about, and a lot to be
angry about too.

Read an extended review
(Ben de Bruyn, European Journal for Cultural Research)

Literature and Utopian Politics in Seventeenth-Century

Robert Appelbaum's first book, Literature and Utopian Politics in Seventeenth-Century
England, is a classic of new historicism, locating an impulse of utopian speculation at
once in the political struggles of an era and in the conventions and ambitions of literary
production.  This study eschews the conventional genre-based study of utopian fiction in
favour of the discourse-based study of utopian desire.  It is at once philosophical and
elegiac about the fate of the 'Not Yet' in the seventeenth century.

'Full of good things, rich in insight and interest . . .' --
Utopian Studies

'With a surprising juxtaposition of texts and a compellingly coherent argument
throughout, Appelbaum gives the seventeenth century a new shape. He collects together
much material that has not been seen in close relation before, and he tellingly glues it
together with his original definition of utopian politics. This is an elegant book. --
in English Literature

Envisioning an English Empire: Jamestown and the Making
of the North Atlantic World

Edited with noted historian John Wood Sweet, Envisioning an English Empire brings
together literary critics, historian, and ethnographers, who reexamine how the first
successful outpost of English imperialism in the New World came into being as
convergence of discourses, material circumstances, ideological impulses, a will to power,
vainglory and plain du
mb luck.  Essays include studies of Captain John Smith, of the
eating habits of the English and the natives, of slavery, of Powhatan diplomacy, and of the
internecine political conflicts fought by different factions of settlers.

'An engaging study of the remarkably varied ways in which the Atlantic identity of one
fragile community coalesced in ideas and experiences forged in England and in societies
around and even beyond the northern Atlantic rim
.—William and Mary Quarterly

"Certain to become required reading for graduate students, this book and the methods and
lines of interpretation employed by its authors reveal new layers of meaning that will
shape the scholarly discussion of early Jamestown and the Chesapeake for many years."—
Georgia Historical Review.

Aguecheek's Beef, Belch's Hiccup, and Other Gastronomic
Interjections: Literature Culture and Food Among the Early

Winner of the 2007 Roland H. Bainton Prize, Aguecheek's Beef is a ground-breaking
study of how early modernity put food into words, and words into food.

'The study is expansive, ambitious, learned, and often both startling and delightful. . . .
The really notable thing about
Aguecheek''s Beef is its erudite yet genial breadth of
vision, which marks it as a major sourcebook for future scholars working in the field of
food studies. Appelbaum comes as close as possible to offering readers a unified field
theory of early modern alimentary behavior. . . . A study of marvelous richness and

"I consider this book excellent in almost every regard. Appelbaum's scholarship is deep,
his prose immensely readable, and his thesis compelling from beginning to end. . . . His
ability to see in very specific examples . . . the larger lineaments of a culture''s attitudes
toward itself makes for a lively intellectual journey.
' Sixteenth Century Journal

"An insightful and thought-provoking book and the arguments Appelbaum makes . . . are
already shaping scholarship on this important branch of cultural studies about the
ideational meanings of food, and the relationship between literature and food.'