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Publisher's Summary

An enlightening narrative history - an entertaining fusion of Tom Wolfe and Michael Pollan - that traces the colorful origins of once unconventional foods and the diverse fringe movements, charismatic gurus, and counterculture elements that brought them to the mainstream and created a distinctly American cuisine.

Food writer Jonathan Kauffman journeys back more than half a century - to the 1960s and 1970s - to tell the story of how a coterie of unusual men and women embraced an alternative lifestyle that would ultimately change how modern Americans eat. Impeccably researched, Hippie Food chronicles how the longhairs, revolutionaries, and back-to-the-landers rejected the square establishment of President Richard Nixon's America and turned to a more idealistic and wholesome communal way of life and food.

From the mystical rock-and-roll cult known as the Source Family and its legendary vegetarian restaurant in Hollywood to the Diggers' brown bread in the Summer of Love to the rise of the co-op and the origins of the organic food craze, Kauffman reveals how today's quotidian whole-foods staples - including sprouts, tofu, yogurt, brown rice, and whole-grain bread - were introduced and eventually became part of our diets. From coast to coast, through Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Vermont, Kauffman tracks hippie food's journey from niche oddity to a cuisine that hit every corner of this country.

A slick mix of gonzo playfulness, evocative detail, skillful pacing, and elegant writing, Hippie Food is a lively, engaging, and informative listen that deepens our understanding of our culture and our lives today.

©2018 Jonathan Kauffman (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Narrator George Newbern's clear voice and captivating style work well with nonfiction. His storyteller's cadence suits the vibe of this audiobook.... Newbern vividly brings these stories to life." (AudioFile)  

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  • Overall
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Fascinating, beautifully written, and entertaining

Hippie history comes to life in this thoroughly researched book. Colorful characters and counterculture ideals combine to provide an inside look at American culture evolving.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a revolution that didn't go far enough isn't over

while it slowed a little , I found the end very interesting, and this is a topic that needs still more exploration
this is a solid book and I enjoyed it

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If you grew up eating health food you'll love it

I'm only an hour or so into Hippie Food, and I'm already dreading when it's going to end. First, you need to know I grew up in Southern California in the 1970s eating health food and good, clean, simple foods.

The author, and great narrator, goes into depth about the "health food" restaurants we used to go to like The Good Earth (famous for the often imitated cinnamon tea) and The Old World. We bought carrot juice and natural peanut butter at health food stores.

Hearing the history of health food, aka hippie food, all the way back to the 1800s is super fun. The book does not dwell too long on any of the topics but weaves a back story of how people started eating more healthily despite the presence of so many processed food cookbooks and foods on the market.

It'll make for great conversation and thinking while shopping for health food as well as over dinner!