Lecture and book signing features food scholar

Lecture and book signing features food scholar
Food and Fun

POSTED: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 12:57pm

UPDATED: Friday, September 9, 2011 - 12:23pm

THIS IS A NBC33 NEWS UPDATE: The lecture has been rescheduled for thursday, Sept. 15 at noon.

In Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War, food scholar Andrew Smith takes an in-depth look at the war from a unique perspective: food production and distribution.

He will lecture and sign his new book in Baton Rouge on Thursday, September 15, at the Old Governor's Mansion. The event, sponsored by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, is open free to members of the organization and $10 for guests.

In his new book, published by St. Martin's Press, Smith chronicles the devastation wrought by the Union blockade and the cutoff of Northern agricultural trade on the South, whose farm economy was based on cotton and tobacco. He clearly demonstrates the differences between the North and South were more than race and politics. Introducing geographical patterns of American agriculture at the outset of the Civil War, Smith reveals the South's vulnerabilities in what food was available and its lack of distribution.

Smith, who is a faculty member of the New School in Brooklyn, is a widely published author, speaker, and conference leader. He used the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Fort Sumter to share his perspective on how the North won the war.

In his lecture at the Old Governor's Mansion, Smith will answer "Did hunger defeat the Confederacy?" In April 1861, Lincoln ordered a blockade of Southern ports used by the Confederacy for cotton and tobacco exporting as well as for the importation of food staples like flour and salt. Southern cooks became resourceful; but, it wasn't quite enough and the Army of the Confederacy grew thin. Union dinner tables, conversely, groaned with plenty and Northern canning operations grew allowing General Grant to keep his troops strong.

A reception, sponsored by Calandro's Select Cellars, will be held at 6 p.m. and the lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. Copies of Smith's book will be available for purchase at $27.99 from FHL.

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana is a statewide, membership-based, non-profit organization committed to the preservation and promotion of Louisiana's cultural and architecture heritage. For more information, click here or you can call 225-387-2464.

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