“To the benefit of all eaters and thinkers, John Shelton Reed leverages sociology, history, genealogy, and, most important, informed curiosity, to tell us compelling and revealing stories. From a grounding essay on origins and dispersals to meditations on geography and class, he has written an ideal primer for the 21st century. In a crowded field, in this golden age of barbecue, this book is now my trusted companion.” —John T Edge, author of The Potlikker Papers
“With On Barbecue, John Shelton Reed shows once again that he’s one of the world’s most important barbecue authorities. This engaging essay collection delightfully explores the cuisine’s past, present, and possible future. It’s essential reading for anyone who wants an accessible and deeper understanding of an iconic American food.” —Adrian Miller, author of Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine and Black Smoke: African American Adventures in Barbecue.
“John Shelton Reed is a brilliant scholar and national treasure. On Barbecue is a must read for anyone who loves history, culture, and especially righteous food.” —Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue! Bible cookbook series and host of Project Fire and Project Smoke on PBS
"I knew that John Shelton Reed had written lots of insightful barbecue commentary over the years, but I had no idea just how rich and varied that output was. On Barbecue gathers a prime selection into a single volume, drawing upon six decades of dining experience and a revealing rock-ribbed devotion to cultural and culinary traditions. At turns ornery, erudite, and laugh-out-loud funny, Reed’s essays address everything from history and politics to pop culture and culinary geography. There’s even a barbecue cocktail recipe in case you get thirsty." —Robert F. Moss, Contributing Barbecue Editor of Southern Living and author of Barbecue: The History of an American Institution
“John Shelton Reed has plenty of opinions, but chief among them is that the world is a better place with barbecue in it. Those inclined to agree will find the world is also vastly improved by Reed’s informed and animated coverage of Southern barbecue’s history and evolution. On Barbecue is a must-read for anyone about to wade into a smoked meat fight.” —Hanna Raskin, food editor and chief critic, The Post and Courier
“John Shelton Reed’s style is accessible, conversational, acerbically funny. It tastes of vinegar and spices as surely as a plate of Carolina barbecue does.” —Jim Auchmutey, author of Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America “The world does need another book on barbecue—if it is written by John Shelton Reed.” —Fred Sauceman, author of The Proffitts of Ridgewood: An Appalachian Family’s Life in Barbecue
"About much more than barbecue, [On Barbecue is] about culture and change and homogenization and human idiosyncrasies. And it’s a truly wonderful read, with an oh so rare mixture of scholarship and wit. [Reed is] a social scientist, but a fine stylist and a thoroughly entertaining writer. I actually laughed out loud while reading the book, something I only do with P.G. Wodehouse." —John Tanner, John Tanner's Barbecue Blog