Good Title, Bad Title

On The United States of Arugula:

“What a great title. And what a useful book.” – Frank Bruni, Diner’s Journal blog

“By ‘not so long ago,’ I mean in 1975, roughly the midpoint in the postwar transformation of American gastronomy, a revolution that is the subject of David Kamp’s lively, smart, horrendously titled new book.” – A.O. Scott, NYT Book Review

Great title or horrendous title? Who do YOU agree with?

8 comments

  1. i’m down with the title. this book focuses squarely on america , and with food being a medium for cultural expressions, and those expressions being wholely american, i think it works.

  2. i would deem it a great title for a book of George Saunders short stories, or possibly a scathing expose of the American Right!

  3. I rather like the title. I’ll admit that it does have something to do with the fact that I think arugula is really tasty (especially with caramelized walnuts and lemon vinaigrette… yum).

    Aside from that though, it piqued my interest as I was browsing through foodie books on Amazon. As much as I like food memoirs, it struck me as a more analytical/structured approach to the topic of food. It’s now waiting patiently on my bookshelf while I finish Garlic and Sapphires, which shouldn’t be too long now. I just picked it up this afternoon and am half done already. Despite the studying I should have been doing for a midterm, I just couldn’t put it down! (or maybe it’s because of the studying I should have been doing studying that I couldn’t put it down… eek)

  4. I think the title’s great. And arugula is the perfect symbol of the foodie transformation of the country. Did anyone eat arugula 25 years ago? Okay, I’m sure some people did. But certainly not most people. We never did, and my mom was a pretty sophisticated cook. Today, arugula’s about as exotic as romaine was back then.

    –Sarah

  5. I agree with A.O. Scott. Horrid title; makes no sense on any level. But then again, that’s from a European perspective. Here arugula is not at all representative of a new food experience.

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