Bread is an object that is always in process of becoming something else: flower to grain, grain to dough, dough to loaf, loaf to crumb. Bread is also often a figure or vehicle of social cohesion: from the homely image of "breaking bread together" to the mysteries of the Eucharist. But bread also commonly figures in social conflict - sometimes literally, in the "bread riots" that punctuate European history, and sometimes figuratively, in the ways bread operates as ethnic, religious or class signifier. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from the scriptures to modern pop culture, Bread tells the story of how this ancient and everyday object serves as a symbol for both social communion and social exclusion.
"Scott Shershow is a writer of beautiful sentences that convey the ambiguity of a thing we often take as a bland lump to be smeared with fats and oils. In prose as crystal as bread isn t, and as sensual as it is, Shershow reveals how deeply political and philosophical issues concerning hospitality (aka the breaking of bread) are fueled and interrupted by bread itself. All other bread books are now toast." --Timothy Morton, Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English, Rice University, USA, and author of Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence
"Anyone who spends serious time weighing a name for his starter has crossed over to the other side, but Shershow is comfortable there, too, at home with the philosophers and poets of bread." --Robert Pisor, Founder of Stone House Bread, Leland, Michigan