• The Man Who Ate Too Much

  • The Life of James Beard
  • By: John Birdsall
  • Narrated by: Daniel Henning
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the first portrait of James Beard in 25 years, John Birdsall accomplishes what no prior telling of Beard's life and work has done: He looks beyond the public image of the "Dean of American Cookery" to give voice to the gourmet's complex, queer life and, in the process, illuminates the history of American food in the 20th century. At a time when stuffy French restaurants and soulless continental cuisine prevailed, Beard invented something strange and new: the notion of an American cuisine.

Informed by previously overlooked correspondence, years of archival research, and a close reading of everything Beard wrote, this majestic biography traces the emergence of personality in American food while reckoning with the outwardly gregarious Beard's own need for love and connection, arguing that Beard turned an unapologetic pursuit of pleasure into a new model for food authors and experts.

In stirring, novelistic detail, The Man Who Ate Too Much brings to life a towering figure, a man who still represents the best in eating and yet has never been fully understood - until now. This is biography of the highest order, a book about the rise of America's food written by the celebrated writer who fills in Beard's life with the color and meaning earlier generations were afraid to examine.

©2020 John Birdsall (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Man Who Ate Too Much

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  • Overall
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Great in depth book

Great in depth book about James Beard. Fascinating hearing about a gay man coming to age in the early 20s and having to hide that shame. So sad! He crawled so all the gay chefs could walk today. Don’t believe the negative reviews that are homophobic. James beard was gay. If you don’t enjoy hearing about gay men don’t listen to this book.

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Great book, very detailed

At first I thought it was too detailed but then I enjoyed learning all the small things about James.
Great ready for foodies and gays.

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Disappointing

Consistency uninteresting. Though the writing was decent the content lacked substance. Can’t imagine why this received strong reviews.