In the opening pages of Cookbook Politics, Kennan Ferguson claims that most people who turn to cookbooks view them as “entirely apolitical” texts (2). Unforeseeable to Ferguson, as to everyone else, was how the year 2020 would fundamentally change perceptions of food. The coronavirus pandemic coupled with a far-reaching racial justice movement brought forth into public view the political, social, and economic implications of issues including meat processing, agricultural harvests, restaurants, food insecurity, and the food supply. Today, it is hard to see any aspect of food as apolitical, especially those aspects with which we intimately engage, including cookbooks.

In an expanding body of literature harnessing cookbooks as objects of study, Ferguson’s Cookbook Politics stands apart because of the theoretical lens through which it views cookbooks. Drawing on Jacques Rancière’s theory grounding politics in the human sensorium, Ferguson...

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