Responses to Pumpkin
“From Halloween to Thanksgiving; decorative dwarfs to 1000-pound monsters; jack-o-lanterns to pies, the pumpkin has been central to American understandings of nature, agrarian pasts, and ‘traditional’ values. An extraordinary scholar and storyteller, Cindy Ott tracks the culture that altered the very nature of the pumpkin—and in do so, tells us a revealing story about ourselves. It’s a new optic on the relation between food, environment, cultures and markets, and is not to be missed.”
- Philip J. Deloria, author of Playing Indian and Indians in Unexpected Places
“A harvest of precise, wide-ranging research, Pumpkin traces the historical roots twining beneath the pumpkin patch and supporting modern farm-stand agriculture and the reinventing of agrarian myth.”
- John R. Stilgoe, Harvard University
"From the symbolism of pumpkins in classical and medieval mythology, to locavores and harvest festivals, Ott's paean to pumpkins is important, entertaining, and enlightening."
- Warren Belasco, author of Food, the Key Concepts
"An original, carefully researched, engagingly written, even playful and witty foray into the exploding field of food history by an up-and-coming star in the field. How appropriate that so delightful a vegetable has an equally delightful book to pay it tribute."
- William Cronon, author of Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West
“When you scoop out that October pumpkin, you get lots of seeds, a mountain of pulp, and more than three centuries' worth of jumbo ideas about politics, women, men, modern life, and American identity. Ott's enjoyable history of this big, storied vegetable is also a masterful study of how Americans have imagined and remade nature to imagine and remake ourselves--and how nature, in turn, remakes the world we live in.”
- Jenny Price, author of Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America
Book Review in Black's Historical Miscellany, August 7, 2014
Book Review by Andrew Duffin in Environmental History, November 2013
Book Review by Michael Kammen. Journal of American History. June, 2013.
"The Orbs of Autumn" by Nina C. Ayoub. The Chronicle of Higher Education. October 22, 2012.
"Check It Out: Pumpkins Carve Out Key Place" by Jan Johnston, Columbian, October 13, 2012.
"The Great Pumpkin Lives" by Marilyn Dahl. Shelf Awareness. Tuesday, October 23, 2012.
"New book 'Pumpkin' tells the story of America's darling squash." OhRanger.com. October 2012.
History Book Club Review. October 2012.
American Orchard blog by William Kerrigan, March 2013.
Amazon Reader Reviews, 2012- 2013.
Fontbonne University Library Reads , February 2013.
"Pumpkin Flavored History," Jarret Ruminski, That Deviled History, Oct 11, 2013.
"How Did Pumpkin Become Beloved?," Johannah King-Slutzky, The Awl, Oct 11, 2013.
"Biting into Me: Food's Role in Identity and Connection," Maurice Tracy blog, HuffPost, April 18, 2013.
"Pumpkins Pull Through the Drought," St Louis Post Dispatch, October 6, 2012.
The Salt: NPR Food Blog