How to Fall in Love with Tofu by Emma de Thouars
As an occasional vegan propagandist, one of the rebuttals I hear most often, besides strident assertions of the impossibility of a life without cheese, is, “But I hate tofu!” Although it is a myth that vegans subsist exclusively on blocks of tofu, it is a versatile protein option in the plant-based pantheon, and I do feel I have some duty to defend it. Poor maligned tofu’s major issue, I suspect, is an image problem. As a soft whitish lump typically found floating in several inches of clouded fluid, tofu is never going to be the most enticing foodstuff on your local grocer’s shelves. If badly prepared, it doesn’t look much better on your plate, either. Yet it is indeed possible to prepare tofu well, so that it is delicious and worth eating rather than something flavorless, mushy, and terrible to suffer through. Emma de Thouars’ new book acts like exposure therapy for the tofu-phobic, with its selection of accessible, delectable tofu-based recipes for every meal of the day. (Note: I do not recommend eating tofu for every meal of the day, no matter how much you learn to love it.) And my #1 tofu tip? Be sure to press that weird whitish lump dry before you cook it, to preclude disappointing dampness.
For those who are not yet fans of tofu.
The Subversive Seventies, by Michael Hardt
The Sixties have earned a reputation as the twentieth century’s revolutionary decade of choice, while the Seventies are more generally associated with disco and horrific shades of orange. In The Subversive Seventies, Duke University Professor of Political Theory Michael Hardt is out to challenge these characterizations, making the case for a new view of the tumultuous 1970s as a period marked by a hunger for truly radical and wide-ranging political change. Hardt examines how movements across the globe – e.g., the Women’s Liberation Movement in the United States, peasant revolts in Nicaragua, Europe’s uprising against nuclear war – reverberated with and inspired one another, linked by a shared ethos grounded in grassroots democracy, direct action, coalition building, and an aversion to traditional organizational hierarchies. And while many of these movements fell short of fully achieving their stated goals, Hardt argues that their demand for personal and collective liberation, what Hardt calls the “master concept” of the era, charted a path that future movements would do well to study and perhaps follow.
For fans of political history, social change movements, and rebels of all stripes.