cover of book

The Provisions of War: Expanding the Boundaries of Food and Conflict, 1840-1990
edited by Justin Nordstrom
University of Arkansas Press, 2021
Paper: 978-1-68226-175-0 | eISBN: 978-1-61075-750-8 | Cloth: 978-1-68226-196-5
Library of Congress Classification TX357.P87 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 363.8


The Provisions of War examines how soldiers, civilians, communities, and institutions have used food and its absence as both a destructive weapon and a unifying force in establishing governmental control and cultural cohesion during times of conflict. Historians as well as scholars of literature, regional studies, and religious studies problematize traditional geographic boundaries and periodization in this essay collection, analyzing various conflicts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through a foodways lens to reveal new insights about the parameters of armed interactions.

The subjects covered are as varied and inclusive as the perspectives offered—ranging from topics like military logistics and animal disease in colonial Africa, Indian vegetarian identity, and food in the counterinsurgency of the Malayan Emergency, to investigations of hunger in Egypt after World War I and American soldiers’ role in the making of US–Mexico borderlands. Taken together, the essays here demonstrate the role of food in shaping prewar political debates and postwar realities, revealing how dietary adjustments brought on by military campaigns reshape national and individual foodways and identities long after the cessation of hostilities

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