Hardback
May 7, 2019
9781421427478
English
312
112358
35
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6.00 Inches (US)
1.01 Inches (US)
1.2 Pounds (US)
$59.95 USD, £44.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Movable Markets

Food Wholesaling in the Twentieth-Century City

In nineteenth-century America, municipal deregulation of the butcher trade and state-incorporated market companies gave rise to a flourishing wholesale trade. In Movable Markets, Helen Tangires describes the evolution of the American wholesale marketplace for fresh food, from its development as a bustling produce district in the heart of the city to its current indiscernible place in food industrial parks on the urban periphery.

Tangires follows the middlemen, those intermediaries who became functional necessities as the railroads accelerated the process of delivering perishable food to the city. Tracing their rise and decline in the wake of a deregulated food economy, she asks: How did these people, who occupied such key roles as food distributors and suppliers to the retail trade, end up exiled to urban outskirts? Moving into the early twentieth century, she explains how progressive city planners and agricultural economists responded to anxieties about the high cost of living, traffic congestion, and disruptions in the food supply by questioning the centrality, aging infrastructure, and organizational structure of wholesale markets.

Tangires combines economic and cultural history by analyzing popular literature, innovative scholarship, and USDA publications. Detailing the legal, physical, and organizational means behind the complex exodus of food wholesaling from the urban core, Tangires also reveals how the trade adjusted to life beyond the city limits as it created new channels of distribution, product lines, and markets. Readers interested in US history, city and regional planning history, food history, and public policy, as well as anyone curious about the disappearance of the central produce district as a major component of the city, will find Movable Markets a fascinating read.

About the Author

Helen Tangires is the administrator of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art. She is the author of Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America and Public Markets.

Endorsements

"Tangires weaves the complex strands of varied people and places into a coherent big-picture overview of the civic reforms that reshaped the food distribution system in the twentieth century. With its focus on landscapes of wholesaling, this book will make a valuable contribution to the scholarship of twentieth-century food history."

- Lisa C. Tolbert, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, author of Constructing Townscapes: Space and Society in Antebellum Tennessee

"Helen Tangires is probably the best-suited person to write a book on food wholesaling in the twentieth century. Movable Markets will make a major contribution to our historic knowledge of the American food industry."

- James M. Mayo, University of Kansas, author of The American Grocery Store: The Business Evolution of an Architectural Space

"In investigating the social, economic, and political forces behind the removal of beloved city food markets—Les Halles in Paris and New York's Washington Market, for example—to more efficient but far less colorful out-of-town locations, Helen Tangires has given us a refreshingly new take on the history of twentieth-century food systems."

- Marion Nestle, New York University, author of Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat

"Tangires's meticulous and thought-provoking book takes us on a fascinating journey through the transformation and translocation of US wholesale food markets. In taking a long view, it offers new insights into this important topic, reminding us of the continued importance of state involvement in food distribution; food supply was a political as well as logistical undertaking."

- Jon Stobart, Manchester Metropolitan University, author of Spaces of Consumption: Leisure and Shopping in the English Town, c. 1680–1830
Johns Hopkins University Press
Hagley Library Studies in Business, Technology, and Politics
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Hardback
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