Kaplan, Steven L. 1943- (Steven Laurence Kaplan)

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Kaplan, Steven L. 1943- (Steven Laurence Kaplan)

PERSONAL:

Born January, 1943. Education: Princeton University, A.B, 1963; Yale University, M.A., 1966, M.Phil., 1968, Ph.D., 1974.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Cornell University, 344 McGraw Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853; fax: 607-272-7511. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Historian, educator, writer, and editor. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Goldwin Smith Professor of European History; University of Versailles, Saint-Quentin, France, visiting professor of modern history.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Langhe Ceretto Prize, 1996-97, for the best book on the history of food; Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite, French Government, 2001; Lauréat of the Prix Littérraire, Association France-Amériques, 2001, for best book by any American on a French subject.

WRITINGS:

Bread, Politics and Political Economy in the Reign of Louis XV, Martinus Nijhoff (The Hague, Netherlands), 1976.

(Editor and author of introduction) La Bagarre: Galiani's "Lost" Parody, M. Nijhoff (Boston, MA), 1979.

(Editor, with Dominick LaCapra) Modern European Intellectual History: Reappraisals and New Perspectives, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1982.

The Famine Plot Persuasion in Eighteenth-Century France, American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, PA), 1982.

Provisioning Paris: Merchants and Millers in the Grain and Flour Trade during the Eighteenth Century, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1984.

(Editor) Understanding Popular Culture: Europe from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century, Mouton (New York, NY), 1984.

(Editor, with Cynthia J. Koepp) Work in France: Representations, Meaning, Organization, and Practice, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1986.

(With Dominick LaCapra) Geschichte Denken: Neubestimmungen und Perspektiven Moderner Europäischer Geistesgeschichte, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag (Frankfurt am Main), 1988.

Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies; France, 1789/1989, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1995.

Farewell, Revolution: The Historians' Feud; France, 1789/1989, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1995.

The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1996.

Le Meilleur Pain du monde: Les Boulangers de Paris au dix-huitième siècle, Fayard (Paris, France), 1996.

(Editor, with Carole M. Couniham) Food and Gender: Identity and Power, Harwood Academic Publisher (New York, NY), 1998.

La Fin des corporations (title means "The End of the Corporations"), Fayard (Paris, France), 2001.

Le Retour du bon pain: Une Histoire contemporaine du pain, de ses techniques et de ses hommes, Perrin (Paris, France), 2002, translation by Catherine Porter published as Good Bread Is Back: A Contemporary History of French Bread, the Way It Is Made, and the People Who Make It, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2006.

Cherchez le pain: Guide des meilleures boulangeries de Paris (main title means "Searching for Bread"), Plon (Paris, France), 2004.

(Editor, with Philippe Minard) La France, malade du corporatisme? XVIIIe-XXe Siècles, Belin (Paris, France), 2004.

(Editor, with Bert De Munck and Hugo Soly) Learning on the Shop Floor: Historical Perspectives on Apprenticeship, Berghahn Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor books and periodicals, including Revue d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine and Le Mouvement Social.

SIDELIGHTS:

Steven L. Kaplan is a historian who has written about the history of France, including the historical role of bread in France. In his books Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies; France, 1789/1989 and Farewell, Revolution: The Historians' Feud; France, 1789/1989, both published in 1995, the author "examine[s] the French Revolution bicentennial events from many perspectives using a rigorous historical and ethnographic inquiry approach," according to Brian E. Strayer in a review on the H-Net Web site. Strayer wrote in the same review: "Kaplan limits his bicentennial coverage to events in France from 1989 to 1995, excluding how the rest of the world commemorated the Revolution."

In Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies; France, 1789/1989, the author largely focuses on an account of the politics and theater commemoration in 1989 of the 200th anniversary of the revolution. Stanley Hoffmann, writing in Foreign Affairs, called the book "highly entertaining" and "exhaustive." Farewell, Revolution: The Historians' Feud; France, 1789/1989 examines the contemporary debate among historians about the meaning of the French Revolution. In his review of both books, Strayer commented: "Kaplan's Farewell, Revolution is a stunning tour de force of both popular and scholarly interpretations of the bicentennial experience in France."

In his book The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, the author "looks at every aspect of bread production and marketing, beginning with the place of bread in the diet and imagination of eighteenth-century Parisians," noted David Garrioch in the English Historical Review. The author discusses how grain influenced all phases of life in France, from the economic to the spiritual. He examines the production and distribution of France's most important commodity and how the constant demand for bread affected daily life. The author writes about bread's cultural meaning in France in the eighteenth century and examines the conditions of supply and demand in the marketplace. Writing in the Historian, Thomas M. Adams noted that the author "proves himself an astute interpreter of shards of evidence garnered from an amazing variety of sources, applying statistical measures of significance whenever possible." Journal of Social History contributor Sherri Klassen commented: "This book will be of interest to a broad range of scholars who are interested in the structures of everyday life, whether it be the history of work, social relations, policing or the role of food in a subsistence-driven society. Encyclopedic in scope, Kaplan goes to the heart of those conflicts and contradictions that gave character to bakers' lives, their relationships with the authorities and with their customers."

Good Bread Is Back: A Contemporary History of French Bread, the Way It Is Made, and the People Who Make It, published in the United States in 2006, is an illustrated look at French bread and emergence of what the author deems to be good, or "healthy," French bread in the 1990s. The author begins by providing a historical look at bread in France, from its role as a fundamental food in the eighteenth century to its fall from favor by the early twentieth century. He accounts for this phenomenon by noting that many other foods became available and claiming that much of the bread simply did not taste good. He goes on to describe the renaissance of bread in France, pointing to the efforts of the millers who make the flour and of the government to encourage French bakers to once again make "authentic" French bread. "Students of French history and food will find it completely absorbing," wrote Library Journal contributor Rosemarie Lewis of Good Bread Is Back. In a review in Books & Culture, Bill McKibben noted that in telling the story of French bread the author "raises powerfully important questions about the proper scale for an economy—about how big is too big, and how small is impractical—that go well beyond both France and bread."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, April, 1986, Patrice Louis-Rene Higonnet, review of Provisioning Paris: Merchants and Millers in the Grain and Flour Trade during the Eighteenth Century, p. 408; February, 1988, Mary Lynn Stewart, review of Work in France: Representations, Meaning, Organization, and Practice, p. 162; June, 1998, Robert Forster, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, p. 904.

Books & Culture, May 1, 2007, Bill McKibben, "Our Daily Bread," review of Good Bread Is Back: A Contemporary History of French Bread, the Way It Is Made, and the People Who Make It, p. 12.

Choice, September, 1997, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, p. 205; August, 2007, J.M. Jones, review of Good Bread Is Back, p. 2125.

Economic History Review, February, 1999, Geoffrey Crossick, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, p. 172.

English Historical Review, October, 1987, T.J.A. Le Goff, review of Provisioning Paris, p. 1043; January, 1988, Roger Magraw, review of Work in France, p. 140; November 1998, David Garrioch, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, p. 1321.

Foreign Affairs, November 1, 1995, Stanley Hoffmann, review of Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies: France, 1789-1989, p. 129.

French Studies, January, 1997, William Doyle, review of Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies, p. 111; January, 1997, William Doyle, review of Farewell, Revolution: The Historians' Feud, p. 111.

Historian, fall, 1998, Thomas M. Adams, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, p. 198.

History: The Journal of the Historical Association, January, 2000, Tim McHugh, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, p. 159.

Journal of Modern History, September, 1987, D.M.G. Sutherland, review of Provisioning Paris, p. 587; September, 1988, Eugen Weber, review of Work in France, p. 591; March, 2000, James B. Collins, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, p. 219.

Journal of Social History, winter, 1998, Sherri Klassen, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, p. 437.

Journal of Urban History, March, 2000, Jeff Horn, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question, 1700-1775, p. 357.

Library Journal, April 15, 1995, Harry Willems, review of Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies, p. 94; March 15, 2007, Rosemarie Lewis, review of Good Bread Is Back, p. 89.

Political Studies, March, 1997, Jeremy Jennings, review of Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies, p. 122; March 1997, Jeremy Jennings, review of Farewell, Revolution: The Historians' Feud, p. 122.

Times Literary Supplement, August 9, 1996, review of The Bakers of Paris and the Bread Question 1700-1775, p. 14; June 8, 2007, Bee Wilson, "Slaves to Dough: The Rebirth of French Bread, with Dignity but without Sweat," p. 3.

Virginia Quarterly Review, winter, 1996, review of Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies, p. 25; Winter 1996, review of Farewell, Revolution: The Historians' Feud, p. 8.

ONLINE

Christianity Today,http://www.christianitytoday.com/ (January 31, 2008), Bill McKibben, "Our Daily Bread," review of Good Bread Is Back.

Cornell University Web site,http://www.cornell.edu/ (January 31, 2008), faculty profile of author.

H-Net Web site,http://www.h-net.org/ (January 31, 2008), Carolyn Lougee Chappell, review of Good Bread Is Back; Brian E. Strayer, review of Farewell Revolution (both volumes).

Times Online (Times Literary Supplement), http://tls.timesonline.co.uk/ (June 6, 2007), Bee Wilson, "The Baguette Is Back," review of Good Bread Is Back.