Jim Auchmutey-Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America

Jim Auchmutey


Jim Auchmutey is an author and veteran journalist in Atlanta. He worked as a reporter and editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 30 years, specializing in stories about the South and its culture. He was twice named writer of the year by the Cox newspapers chain and was honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. His food stories have won awards from the Association of Food Journalists, the Sigma Delta Chi journalism society and the James Beard Foundation. He was a co-founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi and a consulting curator for the Barbecue Nation exhibition at the Atlanta History Center, which inspired his latest book. He appeared at the 2015 Decatur Book Festival to speak about his previous book, The Class of ’65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness.


Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America

No other food captures the essence of America like barbecue. The story of barbecue touches on almost every aspect of our history, from indigenous culture and slavery to the Civil War and the settling of the West, from the coming of immigrants and the Great Migration to the rise of the automobile and the growth of suburbia. Gender, race, commercialism, craft – barbecue has a curious, delicious, and contested back story. Smokelore tells it in a popular history augmented with 26 recipes and 205 images, many of them rarely seen before.

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