The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance

Thomas McNamee, read by Dick Hill. Tantor Media, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4526-0812-9

America in the 1950s was a country that put little focus on fine cooking in the home. In fact, there seemed to be little focus put on fine dining whatsoever, until the New York Times christened its first-ever food critic. Dick Hill narrates this riveting audio edition of the biography of that critic, Craig Claiborne, a man who guided and influenced cooks nationwide. The tone of Hill's reading is slightly snooty, like that of a gourmet stuck in a fast-food restaurant, studying each french fry for perfection as he attempts to educate the masses on how a civilized society should eat. For any other audio title, this tonal choice would sound arrogant and condescending, but in McNamee's work it enhances the author's prose and provides for flavorful listening. Hill is smart enough to firmly plant tongue-in-cheek and play to his audience, while never distancing himself from listeners. An enjoyable audiobook that will leave you hungry for more. A Free Press hardcover. (May)