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Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880-1920

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In the nineteenth century, restaurants served French food to upper-class Americans with aristocratic pretensions, but by the twentieth century, even the best restaurants dished up ethnic and American foods to middle-class urbanites spending a night on the town. In Turning the Tables , Andrew Haley examines the transformation of American public dining at the start of the twentieth century and argues that the birth of the modern American restaurant helped establish the middle class as the arbiter of American culture. Early twentieth-century battles over French-language menus, scientific eating, ethnic restaurants, unescorted women, tipping, and servantless restaurants pitted the middle class against the elite. United by their shared preferences for simpler meals and English-language menus, middle-class diners defied established conventions and successfully pressured restaurateurs to embrace cosmopolitan ideas of dining that reflected the preferences and desires of middle-class patrons. Drawing on culinary magazines, menus, restaurant journals, and newspaper accounts, including many that have never before been examined by historians, Haley traces material changes to restaurants at the turn of the century that demonstrate that the clash between the upper class and the middle class over American consumer culture shaped the "tang and feel" of life in the twentieth century. |Haley examines the transformation of American public dining at the start of the twentieth century and argues that the birth of the modern American restaurant helped establish the middle class as the arbiter of American culture.

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Review:

[A] very interesting and useful study of the evolution of public dining in the United States." --Journal of American History



Like a good chocolate cake: rich, complex, and satisfying. . . . Haley stakes out bold, original claims. . . . A fine example of solid social and cultural history. . . [which] will help turn the tables on much established scholarship.--Journal of Social History



A sumptuous dish for anyone interested in middle-class culture of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, as well as an important contribution to the growing historiography around restaurant and food history.--Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era



Turning the Tables is an engaging read.--LA Weekly blog



Haley's superbly researched study of changes in America's dining habits at the turn into the twentieth century explains much about shifting restaurant tastes in that century, and in ours.--Studies in American Culture



A splendid and innovative study. . . . Turning the Tables is an intelligent and well-researched account that significantly contributes to our understanding of the history of restaurant culture in the United States. It is a pleasure to read.--Hospitality & Society



Haley's book reinforces the importance of consumption as a vehicle for class formation and does immeasurable service in exploring restaurants as one of the important sites where this occurred.--American Historical Review



Scholars of food, culture, and the middle class will find this book useful . . . . It offers diverse sources and avenues for future exploration while establishing the prominence of middle-class dining culture in urban America.--H-SHGAPE



Haley makes great use of an astonishing collection of sources, such as menus, trade journals, popular magazines, and cartoons, to produce an engaging history that sheds fresh light on the creation and meaning of the American middle class and that will encourage readers to think more deeply about their decision about where to go for dinner.--The Historian



Turning the Tables is a significant contribution to existing scholarship on class, culture, and consumption.--Journal of Illinois History

About the Author:

Andrew P. Haley is assistant professor of American cultural history at the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. New edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the nineteenth century, restaurants served French food to upper-class Americans with aristocratic pretensions, but by the twentieth century, even the best restaurants dished up ethnic and American foods to middle-class urbanites spending a night on the town. In Turning the Tables , Andrew Haley examines the transformation of American public dining at the start of the twentieth century and argues that the birth of the modern American restaurant helped establish the middle class as the arbiter of American culture. Early twentieth-century battles over French-language menus, scientific eating, ethnic restaurants, unescorted women, tipping, and servantless restaurants pitted the middle class against the elite. United by their shared preferences for simpler meals and English-language menus, middle-class diners defied established conventions and successfully pressured restaurateurs to embrace cosmopolitan ideas of dining that reflected the preferences and desires of middle-class patrons. Drawing on culinary magazines, menus, restaurant journals, and newspaper accounts, including many that have never before been examined by historians, Haley traces material changes to restaurants at the turn of the century that demonstrate that the clash between the upper class and the middle class over American consumer culture shaped the "tang and feel" of life in the twentieth century. |Haley examines the transformation of American public dining at the start of the twentieth century and argues that the birth of the modern American restaurant helped establish the middle class as the arbiter of American culture. Seller Inventory # TNP9781469609805

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