Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Two Great Burger Books

Since there's a lull in the book signing action I thought I'd mention two of my favorite new burger book finds. Both are actually not very new at all but are great cultural American history books that you must have in your collection.

White Towers - by Paul Hirshorn and Steven Izenour
This photo essay is hard to put down. The text is short and the photos amazing. Architect Izenour was one of the brains behind the academic Learning From Las Vegas, a study of the language of Vegas architecture and signage of the early 1970s. White Towers is a compilation of corporate black & white stills of newly-completed White Tower restaurants across America from the 30s to the 70s. White Tower, like the burger chain it clearly copied White Castle, was a model of branded architecture in mid-century America. Many thanks to Adam Kuban from Serious Eats for turning me onto this beauty.

Selling 'em by the Sack - by David Gerard Hogan
The academic Selling 'em by the Sack is not a light read but it is a thoroughly rewarding one. The first chapter alone should be required reading for any proud American as it tells the story of the rise of fast food in the US. The book traces the history of the iconic White Castle burger chain in such minute detail that I had to read the book twice to catch it all. You will never look at a slyder the same way again.

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