Bread by Scott Cutler ShershowBread by Scott Cutler Shershow
Series: Object Lessons
Published by Bloomsbury Academic on July 28, 2016
Source: Borrowed
Genres: Non-fiction, Religion & Spirituality
Pages: 168
Format: Paperback
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Bread is an object that is always in process of becoming something else: flower to grain, grain to dough, dough to loaf, loaf to crumb. Bread is also often a figure or vehicle of social cohesion: from the homely image of “breaking bread together” to the mysteries of the Eucharist. But bread also commonly figures in social conflict - sometimes literally, in the “bread riots” that punctuate European history, and sometimes figuratively, in the ways bread operates as ethnic, religious or class signifier. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from the scriptures to modern pop culture, Bread tells the story of how this ancient and everyday object serves as a symbol for both social communion and social exclusion.

The other day I listened to a short book about pepper and today it’s a book about bread. And I’ve gone from a funny, conversational writer/interviewer to a formal, slightly pretentious author. Can you tell which I liked better?

My boss recommended I read Bread and handed me his copy. He said it changed that way he looked at bread and would definitely change his next Communion sermon, so I was expecting it to be interesting and at just over 100 pages, a quick read.

I was disappointed. While the author clearly loved bread and has a lot to say, it was too philosophical for me. When he ventured into history and social status I found it interesting and even the religion up to a point, most of the time I found myself marveling about just how much this guy could contemplate bread.

This counts as 3 pts in the COYER Treasure Hunt (a book with One Word Title).

About Scott Cutler Shershow

Scott Cutler Shershow is Professor of English at University of California, Davis, USA. He is the author of five books, including Deconstructing Dignity: A Critique of the Right-to-Die Debate (2014).


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