The Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Approach to International Relations

Chris Fair, Author . Lyons $24.95 (313p) ISBN 978-1-59921-286-9

Foreign affairs analyst Fair combines current events, history and cookery in this unorthodox book. Provoked by Bush's 2002 State of the Union address and her brothers' call-up by the National Guard, she posits that one way to a more tolerant post-9/11 world might be through the stomach. The author takes on 10 countries: the axis of evil triad of North Korea, Iran and Iraq; global players like Israel and China; alleged thorns-in-freedom's-side like Pakistan, and finally the “Great Satan,” the U.S. She compiles “dossiers of perfidy”—a history of each nation's geopolitical sins—followed by culinary “plans of attack.” The research and experience backing the dossiers is considerable, if filtered through a shrill, leftist-corrective sensibility. The representative recipes, meanwhile, range from an Iraqi lamb and okra stew (“Be warned: Okra is a finicky flora”) to steamed Chinese eggplant and Kashmiri spiced tea. There's even Beer Butt Chicken to represent Uncle Sam. The genuine political and culinary passion don't organically connect; rather it's a crazy salad of dark leftist humor. Whether it's possible to laugh while despairing and cooking (the recent natural disasters particularly skew the tone of the chapters on Burma and China) remains to be seen. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-59921-634-8
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