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Harvey Levenstein
Professor Emeritus, History

Harvey Levenstein is a social historian currently specializing in the history of American food. Two of his books, Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of the American Diet (1988, 2003) and Paradox of Plenty: A Social History of Food in Modern America (1993, 2003) are wide-ranging surveys of the history of American food since the 1880s. Two books on the history of American tourism to France, Seductive Journey (1998) and We’ll Always Have Paris (2004) deal at some length with Americans’ attitudes towards foreign foods. His most recent book, Fear of Food: A History of Why We Worry about What We Eat (2012) is an analysis of the forces that have played major roles in creating anxiety about food among Americans.

Levenstein did his undergraduate work at University of Toronto and graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been a professor of history at Brooklyn College and Columbia University in New York City, and in 1972 moved to McMaster University, where he is now professor emeritus of history. He has also been a visiting professor and invited researcher at the Centre for the Study of Social History at the University of Warwick in England, the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris, and the Research Centre for the History of Food and Drink at Adelaide University in Australia. His publications have won a number of awards, including a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year.”
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