July 31, 2021
Join us on Zoom as John Shelton Reed, one of today’s most knowledgeable authors on the subject of barbecue, discusses his new book On Barbecue, with Robert Moss. Reed’s previous book, Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, was written with his wife, Dale Volberg Reed, and won the National Barbecue Association Award of Excellence in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2009 International Associate of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award. In this collection, On Barbecue, Reed compiles reviews, essays, magazine articles, op-eds, and book extracts from his many-year obsession with the history and culture of barbecue. Brought together, these pieces constitute a broad look at the cultural, culinary, historical, and social aspects of this American institution.
Reed’s original and provocative voice carries through this collection, which spans more than twenty years of barbecue lore. A lover of tradition whose study of regional distinctions has made him prize and defend them, Reed writes with conviction on what “real” barbecue looks, smells, and tastes like. He delves into the history of barbecue and even the origins of the word barbecue itself. Other topics include present-day barbecue, Carolina ’cue and other regional varieties, and recipes daring readers to master their own backyard barbecues.
Anyone with an interest in this signature American food will find themselves immersed in this book’s accessible, conversational, and frequently tart pages. From one of the wittiest and most knowledgeable authors writing on the subject, On Barbecue is essential reading.
JOHN SHELTON REED is the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology (Emeritus) at the University of North Carolina. He is the author or editor of twenty-two books, mostly about the South and Southern culture, including most recently Mixing It Up: A South-Watcher’s Miscellany. He is co-founder and Éminence Grease of the Campaign for Real Barbecue (TrueCue.org).
ROBERT MOSS is Southern Living’s Contributing Barbecue Editor.