Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America

How beef conquered America and gave rise to the modern industrial food system


Published (US):
Oct 6, 2020
Published (UK):
Oct 27, 2020
5.5 x 8.5 in.
12 b/w illus. 2 maps
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Book Trailer

By the late nineteenth century, Americans rich and poor had come to expect high-quality fresh beef with almost every meal. Beef production in the United States had gone from small-scale, localized operations to a highly centralized industry spanning the country. This book tells the remarkable story of the violent conflict over who would reap the benefits of this new industry and who would bear its heavy costs. Joshua Specht brings to life a turbulent era marked by Indian wars, Chicago labor unrest, and food riots in the streets of New York. A compelling and unfailingly enjoyable read, Red Meat Republic reveals the complex history of exploitation and innovation behind the food we consume today.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award, Agricultural History Society
  • Honorable Mention for the Vincent P. DeSantis Book Prize, Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
  • Co-Winner of the Silver Medal in Business Commentary, Axiom Business Book Awards
  • One Smithsonian's Ten Best Books About Food of 2019