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"The Life of Cheese is the definitive work on America's artisanal food revolution. Heather Paxson's engaging stories are as rich, sharp, and well-grounded as the product she scrutinizes. A must read for anyone interested in fostering a sustainable food system." Warren Belasco, author of Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food "Heather Paxson's lucid and engaging book, The Life of Cheese, is a gift to anyone interested in exploring the wonderful and wonderfully complex realities of artisan cheesemaking in the United States. Paxson deftly integrates careful considerations of the importance of sentiment, value and craft to the work of cheesemakers with vivid stories and lush descriptions of their farms, cheese plants and cheese caves. While she beguiles you with the stories and tastes of cheeses from Vermont, Wisconsin and California, she also asks you to envision a post-pastoral ethos in the making. This ethos reconsiders contemporary beliefs about America's food commerce and culture, reimagines our relationship to the natural world, and redefines how we make, eat, and appreciate food. For cheese aficionados, food activists, anthropologists and food scholars alike, reading The Life of Cheese will be a transformative experience." Amy Trubek, author of The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir