Commonplace to Critical: Soy and Cork

Thu. March 21, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

City Council Chambers

605 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902


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Authors Matthew Roth (Magic Bean) and David Taylor (Cork Wars) share the engaging industrial and war-time histories of these two commonplace objects, the soybean and cork. Book sales and signing will follow. FREE to attend and open to the public.

Why Should You Attend?

“This once obscure legume has become the basis of a massive industry. Mr. Roth had given us a lively, well-researched tale of how this came about. It’s worth reading even if you feel no great desire to try a soybean-sprout soufflé.” —Marc Levinson, The Wall Street Journal

“A diverse cast of women and men promoted the soybean as devotedly as John Chapman did the apple, but their efforts have gone as unnoticed as soy lecithin in a chocolate bar. Matthew Roth’s Magic Bean tells their stories and explains how a food often billed as a meat substitute became a linchpin of animal agriculture.” —Kendra Smith-Howard, author of Pure and Modern Milk: An Environmental History Since 1900

“David Taylor’s Cork Wars is a marvelous history about pre-synthetic times when large cork oaks were coveted far and wide. Everything from bottle-cap factories to the container revolution and cork planting are explored with great vigor. Taylor gives a vivid slice of life from that time that speaks to ours. A landmark achievement!” —Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America

“Immigrants, spies, and businessmen populate David Taylor’s fascinating history of the important role that cork played in World War II. Next time you hold a wine cork in your hand, it’ll be hard not to think of a Baltimore factory and a story stretching from Maryland and California to Portugal and Morocco.” —Meredith Hindley, author of Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II