The Julia Child Project: The Cold War, France, and the Politics of Food
Relations between the US and France were at a lowpoint in the spring of 1966. The country was still a popular tourist destination, and a cherished resource of guidelines for cosmopolitan food, art, and even sex. But things were changing. Anti-American sentiment appeared with increasing frequently in French popular media—so much so that even tourists took note Charles deGaulle, the president, had adopted a policy of “gaullism” that meant continual assertion of France’s geopolitical leadership, resisting cooperation with global political strategies engineered by the US, and publically criticizing American policy in southeast Asia. Most notably, in March of that year DeGaulle took France out of the fledgling North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and demanded that all American soldiers be evacuated from French soil. The prolonged and exceptionally violent loss of its empire, most recently Algeria, had left the nation’s politics, cultural gatekeeping institutions and public life divisive, if also more diverse, realms. In the midst of this, Julia Child appeared on American TVs and urged people to make their asparagus “the French way.” What could Child have meant by this? What did people think she meant? The French Chef raises these and other questions about food and cooking in the turbulent 1960s. For a decade, Child’s show The French Chef was a mainstay of public television programming—an important component of families’ evening viewing and of afternoon cooking plans. Here, cooking the French way meant some very specific things—working hard physically when necessary (in some episodes she even panted), peeling vegetables (about this she was very clear), using appropriate herbs, and making hollandaise by hand. It meant valuing the traditions of the French food system--epitomized in images of markets and fishermen. Above all, cooking the French way meant, as she said and demonstrated repeatedly, treating the work of cooking and eating with serious purpose and also joyful embrace. It did not necessarily mean engaging in global politics, but Child could hardly avoid these. After all, she had gone to France in the first place because of her husband’s State Department posting there after World War II, made her first forays into cooking as she saw him through the rigors of life in the 1950s diplomatic corps, and she maintained an interest in presenting France and its culture in inviting, accessible but also honest ways. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the Childs also remained invested in France literally. They built a home in Provence, maintained a network of friends throughout the country,, watched its empire dissolve, hoped for and then despaired of DeGaulle’s leadership, and stocked gasoline and food when student and general strikes overturned the nation’s infrastructure in the spring of 1968. The French Chef, in contrast, presented a much older tradition of France as the arbiter of taste, the creator of standards and techniques that were truly universal. It made an argument for the French presence in haute cuisine, even as she and her viewers navigated a world in which French authority and its national coherence were increasingly strained. In the context of the Cold War, we can see The French Chef as an argument for French culture, and more broadly for cooking itself, as a unifying force in the face of disintegrating gender and sexual norms, the “quagmire” of French and then American efforts in Vietnam and southeast Asia, and the ethnic and racial tensions that characterized life in both countries. Even in this limited realm of gourmet cooking, Child’s claims for French superiority did not always work. As American viewers increasingly voiced their attachment to older forms of ethnic foods and newer embraces of ethnic cuisine, they sometimes questioned Child’s adaptions. This didn’t mean she backed down. For instance, when irate viewers complained that Child’s “Lasagne a la Francaise” was hardly a respectful appropriation of an Italian classic, Child acknowledged that it was not meant to be Italian but that that did not matter because French know-how was so central to cuisine generally: “We should be thankful to the Italians for having invented lasagna-shaped pastas,” she allowed but then added viewers should also thank the French “for their fine cooking methods that make such a splendid dish possible.” French technique was presented as a kind of stand-in for France’s coherence. Child raises these hard questions—harder than could be visible in her shows but not so hard that GBH viewers didn’t think about them. How did The French Chef make sense in an increasingly diverse and racially complex cooking landscape? What did it say about the place of food in negotiating that world? How can it be made sense of in the context of other GBH programming that mentioned France or contemporary French politics or racial, sexual, and social dissension in the US?; These questions speak to the ways that the French Chef was part of a broader phenomenon that put food at the center of Americans’ politics and culture in the 1960s.
What can Julia Child teach us, aside from the basics of certain standard French foods? This essay reframes Julia Child as herself a project; that is, someone with a carefully constructed trajectory and image but also a project of history— an historical actor who was shaped by and also influential over changes in mass media, the cold war, the publishing industry, and ongoing disputes over domesticity. Her life, and the systems of which it was a part, reveals the centrality of food and eating as central projects in late 20th century American life.
The paper will focus in particular on Child’s experiences during World War II in America’s foreign surveillance work and then on her relationship to France and geopolitics in the 1960s. I’m particularly interested in the ways that we can contextualize Child and her work in America’s (and Americans’) negotiation of the Cold War. I ask how she and her success can be made sense of in light of other things we know about the charged politics of domesticity and foreign affairs in the middle decades of the 20th century. Child’s fame for teaching home cooking of foreign food is a useful object to explore the entwined nature of these endeavors.
The project as a whole is informed by literatures on gender, capitalism and their intersections, and has a particular commitment to telling the vexed history of domesticity and domestic labor in the middle third of the twentieth century.. It also is motivated by contemporary food politics. Meals eaten at home, cooked by hand, in a familial setting, are consistently credited with producing a range of effects.1 And meals’ coherence is explained in historic terms: this was how people used to live and eat.2 So I am reacting to a genealogical approach to food politics and food studies—one that suggests that changing peoples’ tastes ought to be the object of food politics, a narrative that flattens the lives of individuals, and impoverishes our vision of labor and commodification. The life of Julia Child, embedded in Cold War dynamics around gender, labor, domesticity, and international politics, offers a more complicated history of food and eating and what has caused changes in these. In that way, it offers new perspectives on the complicated dynamics of the present.
Numerous works have documented Child's adult life. The bulk of these frame Child as exceptional: someone who broadened career possibilities for women, taught Americans a new sense of taste, and led them to re-value food and cooking.3 These accomplishments are typically ascribed to her remarkable personality, her contagious enthusiasm, and her power to motivate people to attempt new dishes. As Laura Shapiro writes, "Julia was the only professional on screen whose appeal sprang directly from her own personality, unmediated by scriptwriters or guests."4
My research confirms many parts of these arguments. Undeniably, Child had a powerful personality and a commitment to making French cooking accessible. She became a media sensation and paved the way for subsequent possibilities for chefs, including female chefs, to become celebrities in their own right. But neither she nor Americans’ increased attention to food and serving can be entirely explained by her personality and skill. Contextualizing Child in other institutions of her time—the media, politics, and cultural trends—helps us appreciate what her success and her work says about American history and the charged decades of the 1960s and 1970s. The story I tell in my larger project emphasizes two things: 1) the connection between Child’s career and American covert and diplomatic operations and 2) Child’s charged relationship with domesticity. This essay emphasizes the former.
As has by now been well documented, Julia Child worked for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. This was the forerunner of the CIA. It’s not clear that she herself ever engaged in covert operations directly. Rather, she coordinated the cataloguing and distribution of information sent in by operatives and wartime government employees. Nonetheless the career was crucial for her. It allowed her to leave her father’s house and it propelled her into overseas life. Not to France—but to India and then to China. Here she learned a sense of purpose—doing paid work that clearly mattered in the world. There was little in her upper class background to prepare for this and she took to it immediately.
But she also took to the new colleagues she met—many of whom became lifelong friends and one of whom became her husband. Paul Child, like many employees of the OSS, had led something of a bohemian life before the war—living abroad, working as an artist and then an art teacher, and openly having affairs with women.5 He was not at first smitten by Julia, but slowly, over the course of their travels, they became a couple. (An aside: The OSS was made up of people like Paul—these were anthropologists, historians, geographers, economists, artists—some of whom were openly gay, many of whom were decidedly bohemian in their approaches to marriage and sexuality. We can debate the long-term merits of their activities, but as a social group they demand much more investigation.) Paul Child and the world of alternative and artistic adult interaction he made available propelled Julia forward. Another way of saying this is that the OSS had given Julia access to a world of intellectual excitement, with exotic food at the center of sociality and mixed-sex pleasures. This was a world she worked to recreate ever after.
Eventually, the government that had employed her and Paul during the war propelled them to France. Paul became an exhibits officer with the USIA (the US Information Agency) and was placed first in Paris, then Marseille, then the German city of Bonn, and finally in Oslo. Paul retired in 1961 after a career of arranging and overseeing cultural events designed to shore up America’s reputation abroad.
While Paul was working in the diplomatic corps—between 1948 and 1960—Julia laid the groundwork for her culinary career. She studied at the Cordon Bleu and took private cooking lessons with one of its most prominent chefs, began a cooking school and a collaboration with other women chefs that would last most of her life. She researched, developed, discussed, revised, and fixed ways of preparing classic and everyday French food—practicing first on Paul, then with students at her cooking school, and finally modifying recipes for American cooks. She took on the manuscript that would become her signature piece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Here I want to pause and emphasize one crucial point. It is the centrality of politics and diplomacy to her career. I mean this in a very functionalist way. Julia Child had access to French cooking and French food largely because of a wartime and then post war system of diplomacy that brought her to France. She learned to cook, and about cooking, and about France, as a direct result of the emergence of the American security state and in the context of the social world of the workers in that state. It is hard to imagine what would have happened to Child without the war and without the postwar diplomatic apparatus.
Politics also mattered in a less institutional way. Paul and Julia’s belief in culture’s power reflected an ideology prominent in the State Department during the Cold War. Both Paul and Julia Child emerged from a world in which culture (e.g., art, music, even cooking) were capable of profound transformation—even winning people over to the United States. Paul himself had been an art teacher and an active art photographer and painter since the 1920s. His interest in these continued after the war, when he assumed various positions that entailed promoting arts and cultural events to encourage Europeans’ positive feelings towards the United States. (He was also expected to report back on any artistic movements that were critical of the US or American influence.) . Parts of these jobs were frustrating; Paul despaired of the constraints on which art he could show, what he took as the shallowness of modern art, and the endless bureaucratic red tape and office politics that surrounded every exhibition or event he organized. But he never seems to have questioned that good art could and indeed should occupy a position of central importance in everyday life and in state strategies.
In this belief, he was one representative of a wide pool of State Department employees who promoted culture in diplomacy. Jazz tours, art exhibits, visiting lectures by American academics—all were sponsored by American officials in the belief that France—and that art—needed to stand at the center of Americans’ efforts abroad.6 These campaigns were powerful vehicles for diplomatic energies and ambitions throughout the State Department, even if they did not always result in more positive feelings about the United States.7
Julia Child’s commitment to cooking was forged in this community and in this moment. The meaning of the Cold War to Child’s work comes through in the letters she wrote as she was developing Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In note after note sent to her friend, editor, and muse Avis DeVoto, Child decried the excesses of McCarthyism and worried for the future of the kind of cultural diplomacy and broad-minded humanism in which Paul was engaged even as she also inquired as what types of vegetables were available to American housewives. She tested her recipes on diplomatic corps workers and older friends from her days in the OSS who came to dinner and stayed for hours. This network of friends, supporters, and guests, many of them associated with the Cold War state, were the testing grounds for Child’s recipes.
They also were the testing grounds for ideas about the broader function of food. For the Childs, eating French food facilitated thoughtful social encounters and cultural experience that broadened one’s outlook. Letters and journals document both the food and also the exciting, lengthy, socializing that inevitably accompanied it.8 Paul reported in virtually every letter to his brother (and he wrote nearly every day) about what was consumed or prepared for their guests, nearly all of whom were attached to the State Department, diplomatic service or the international arts scene. After a typical January 1953 dinner party, Paul wrote “John Val Fey [a British economist] came over for dinner along with Charlie Motley and Dorothea Speyer [both embassy employees] . . . Wine, the great mellower helped and of course there was Julie's superb food. All the people were unpretentious, well-mannered, formulated and attractive in their different ways. They all like food, they all like Paris, and they all felt free to trade ideas and enthusiasms and experiences without prejudice or rancor or dogma."9 Captured in this account is a crucial moment in Julia Child’s cooking: her accessible but ambitious home cooking coming into its own alongside a politics of pluralist, liberal, internationalist Americanism. This work, these meals, mattered to that world of high politics and to the marriages, affairs, conversations, and friendships that kept it going.
Julia Child brought the case for carefully prepared, socially adventurous food to the American public in a big way. Her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was published by Knopf in the fall of 1961 and became a bestseller almost immediately, surpassing even her highest hopes. Later that year, she began taping pilot episodes of The French Chef—a new cooking show for the relatively new Boston public television station GBH. Within minutes of that pilot episode’s broadcast, the station was flooded with calls demanding the recipe she had used and also demanding more episodes.10 GBH complied and Child produced dozens of shows that were then distributed via the growing network of public television stations across the country. She wrote more cookbooks and did more television in the 1970s and 1980s, and was increasingly influential and honored among cooks. Child has emerged as one of the most beloved of all food personalities—emblematic of what was best about elaborate meals: warmth, everyday good sense, a celebration of good taste, and joyful cooking labor.
Child presented different aspects of her approach in her show and her most famous cookbook. Whereas Mastering the Art of French Cooking was precise, straightforward, and famously comprehensive, The French Chef conveyed spontaneity Broadcasts were peppered with off-hand remarks that revealed Child’s thinking about the food she was preparing. Unlike the edited, polished cookbook text, the television show revealed the unbounded enthusiasm, energy and the zest Child applied to French food.
Because of its more wide-ranging themes, the show also helps us to connect Julia Child’s approach to France and to events of the 1960s and 1970s. Sometimes Child exhibited unashamed chauvinism—a privileging of French cuisine above all others (even American). This comes through most clearly in treatment of ingredients or dishes that were already familiar to her audience. In a show decrying Americans’ lack of respect for vegetables, Child explained that the problem was simply that they hadn’t learned the proper techniques. She assured viewers that they would enjoy vegetables more if prepared “in the French manner.” An episode on lobster explained how to choose and kill lobster without much acknowledging that GBH’s audience of Bostonians might have ever prepared lobster before, let alone done it differently. In all of these cases, Child emphasized the improvement that French techniques would bring to mundane American lives. At the conclusion of one episode, Child pointed out that “if you follow this French method so that they’re beautiful to look at and tender and fresh to eat, your family will feel like honored guests.”11
Child remained attached to France as the apex of valuable cultural traditions even in the face of evidence (and dishes) that pointed to other countries’ importance. In the episode on Lasagna à la Français, Child showed little regard for the non-French nature of the dish she was preparing. She encouraged viewers to use lasagna as a repository for various leftovers, relied on a white sauce as the main binder (tomato sauce simply went over the top) and repeatedly remarked on her lack of expertise in Italian cooking—even shamelessly admitting that she could never remember the name of the Italian cheese often used (it was ricotta).12 Viewers were irate at what seemed to many a mockery of an Italian classic. So many wrote in that Child and her staff created a form letter rather than writing individual responses to each angry note. Even here, Child refused to back down from her insistence on the centrality of French cuisine: “We should be grateful to the Italians for inventing lasagna-shaped pasta, and to the French for their fine cooking methods that make such a splendid dish possible.” Here as elsewhere, French cuisine remained the basis from which all others were constructed.
Often though it was not explicit privileging of French food that occupied Child so much as its foreignness, its difference. She made a point of explaining herbs that were associated with Provence and Mediterranean cooking (e.g., tarragon) and urged viewers to firmer understanding of the practices of Provencal cooking, including adding garlic whenever possible.13 She devoted an entire episode to Bouillabaisse, introducing it as a distinctively Marseillese dish, as “loud, colorful, and authoritative” as the city’s residents.14 For Child as for her many of her viewers in the mid-1960s, French food—even and maybe especially the kind made by peasants—was introduced as a way of experiencing the temptingly exotic.15
In particular, French food upheld a Eurocentric cultural hierarchy that Julia Child fully embraced. She forwarded an image of France that celebrated the country’s long-held status as an arbiter of cultural status—of “taste” –a term I mean literally but also in a Bourdieuian sense of a system of internalized preferences that mark social distinctions. She painstakingly explained the difference between haute cuisine, bourgeois food, and peasant food and while she celebrated all three versions of food, she never let viewers forget that these were carefully calibrated differences.16 Furthermore, every episode closed with a scene in which Child discussed how a dish ought to be served and with what wine. This reinforced the breadth of French “taste” and made clear that it extended beyond cooking. Serving, eating, presenting, and socializing also occurred around food. Each episode of The French Chef, thus also made clear the classed settings, gender relations, and global cosmopolitanism to which French cooking gave access.
Another way of saying this is that the Frenchness of the food mattered. This was reinforced by the second set of episodes, broadcast beginning in 1970. In these, Child regularly included footage of France itself. Scenes of markets, bakers, restaurants, ports, etc. emphasized the role of tradition in French food and its food system. In the episode on Bouillabaisse, for instance, Child opened with a scene filmed in a Marseille fish market —the sort of site that would have seemed decidedly old-fashioned to many Americans who had been buying fish from retail outlets for decades. Later in the show she returned to show fish being caught; while she was sure to explain that a new and modern port was right next door, she emphasized the generations of fishermen who plied Marseille’s waters and the wheeled carts they used to transport them to the women (identified here as their wives) who sold them in the market.
This emphasis on unchanging French tradition was itself part of a longer tradition in American life. French food had long had particular cachet among restaurant goers and would-be gourmets, albeit with more competition from other cuisines by the interwar years.17 The historian Whitney Walton has argued that Americans’ traveling to France were especially likely to appreciate the culture of France—and certainly French food ranked high on Americans’ experiences of France. In this way, Child was echoing what some viewers would have long valued about France.18
But in this historical moment those longstanding views of France and the value of classic French culture were being countered. In the late 1950s and 1960s, just as Child was gaining popular audiences, the country underwent wrenching political change. Wartime leader Charles de Gaulle retired from politics, the subsequent regime, (the short-lived 4th Republic) attempted to oversee a crumbling empire, independence movements in Algeria and resistance by French colonists forced the return of de Gaulle who established the 5th Republic,19 and after prolonged and bloody resistance, finally oversaw Algeria’s independence in 1962. Relations with the US were particularly fraught. De Gaulle’s policy of “Gaullism” was predicated on asserting France’s geopolitical authority in the face of the United States’ efforts to wield control over European allies. DeGaulle was personally off-putting, critical of American policy in Vietnam, unwilling to adhere to plans for US-led NATO or indeed to any US-led international event. Long-simmering anti-Americanism in France bubbled to the surface with more Americans than ever encountering the sentiment.20 In other words, viewers of The French Chef would have also encountered a very different view of France than the one Child forwarded.
Indeed, viewers of the “French Chef” were especially like to have had contemporary events in mind. On GBH, the show was broadcast just after the nightly news and just before evening arts programming (e.g., Kenneth Clark’s “Civilization”). The show was a kind of segue from the world of politics to the world of art. The evening timeslot in which the show was broadcast, the fact that it was broadcast on public affairs minded educational television stations—all increased the odds that viewers would have these disturbing images of political affairs and of France itself in mind.21 Both literally and figuratively, The French Chef stood between the worlds of Cold War politics and high-minded art.
Contextualizing The French Chef in its historic moment clarifies the dissonant images of France at play. Americans who watched Child buy fish in Marseille would likely have watched the news that night and been reminded of the disastrous effects of a war that DeGaulle and France seemed to have both caused (in their handling of Southeast Asia’s decolonization) and also criticized. Two years earlier, as Child herself was battening down the hatches in her Provence home while France’s famous “Mai 68” movement shook Paris, viewers would have seen repeated episodes from Child’s first series nearly alongside images of Paris burning down. The day that the Bouillabaisse episode was first broadcast, President Richard Nixon presented a five-point plan for peace to the North Vietnamese, who quickly rejected it.
In the context of Julia Child’s life as well contemporary events, The French Chef can be understood as about much more than new recipes and Child’s famous enthusiasm. Child’s cookbook and especially her television show also participated in global politics. The French Chef offered a compelling view of France’s cultural authority and the possibilities of Franco-US alliance in Americans’ kitchens. Amidst calls to boycott French wine, Julia Child offered a way of appreciating France without sacrificing American dominance.22 In a moment when ideas about France were omnipresent, but contradictory—valorizing “French” food even as events like decolonization and immigration challenged notions of Frenchness—Child offered a clarity of vision that centered exotic but accessible France and extensive home cooking as the sites around which Americans, and their relationship with the world, could cohere.
For Child, and for many viewers, French food was a site that knit together a social order that appeared frayed everywhere else. This politics of food was widespread and it is telling that food was increasingly an explicit solution to an array of political problems. The Green Revolution famously forwarded the notion that malnutrition might result in peasant sympathies for communists and totalitarians, (and that addressing it would, in turn, restore a democratic and capitalist social order). And events like George Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s “Concert for Bangladesh” brought home the images of starving refugees, displaced by violence and on the brink of death. Urban insurrections created a frequently circulated, almost iconic, image of the trashed supermarket just as civil rights struggles forwarded other iconic images of food being thrown at lunch counter demonstrators. And, perhaps most famously, second-wave feminists attacked housework and especially cooking and associated food tasks, as the daily reminders of patriarchy and subordination. In all of these cases, food was a flashpoint for broader social change.
What makes The French Chef significant and impactful, I want to argue, is precisely this. What people saw about food and France in other places make the show instructive to us and made it important at the time. Child’s success should be explained in this context—not (only) of a reawakening of Americans’ tastes and not only the force of her own presentation, but also a moment in which food became increasingly important, in new ways, to the markers of responsible citizenship through American life, in settings that ranged from the public to the intimate. These images on The French Chef—like images on the nightly news—asked for membership in a broader world and positioned viewers as people threatened by, or at least call on to act in, food politics. The French Chef offered important ways of doing this. Indeed, its existence points to gourmet food and home cooking’s significance in new global politics of American life.
1A powerful recent example in popular literature is Michael Pollan Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (New York: Penguin Press, 2013), pp 1-2. For similar ideas circulating among academics, see Tami M Videon, Carolyn K Manning, “Influences on adolescent eating patterns: the importance of family meals,” Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 32, Issue 5, May 2003, Pages 365-373; Marie R. Skeer, Erica L. Ballard, “Are Family Meals as Good for Youth as We Think They Are? A Review of the Literature on Family Meals as They Pertain to Adolescent Risk Prevention,” Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(July 2013), 943-963; For a more complicated ethnography of family meals, see Psyche Williams-Forson, “Other Women Cooked for my Husband; Negotiating Gender, Food, and Identities in an African American/Ghanian Household,” in Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World (Psyche Williams-Forson and Carole Counihan eds. New York: Routledge, 20120.
3Julie and Julia, dir. Nora Ephron, Columbia Pictures, 2009. Laura Shapiro, Julia Child, New York: Viking, 2007; David Kamp, United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation (New York: Broadway Books, 2006); Bob Spitz, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child (New York: Knopf, 2012).
5On Paul and Julia Child’s World War II work see Jennet Conant, A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011); Elizabeth McIntosh, Sisterhood of Spies: Women of the OSS (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1998, 2009).
6Penny Von Eschen has persuasively argued that African American musicians became experienced far better treatment in Europe than the United States. Penny Von Eschen, Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War, Harvard University Press, 2004.
7For an overview view of the many activities in which the United States engaged, see Reinhold Wagnleitner, Coca-Colonization and the Cold War: The Cultural Mission of the United States in Austria After the Second World War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994). Essays in the collection Reinhold Wagnleitner and Elaine May, Eds., Here, There, and Everywhere: The Foreign Politics of American Popular Culture (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2000) speak to the spread of American culture more broadly.
8On Avis’s assistance, see for instance, Julia Child to Avis DeVoto, June 11, 1953, Unprocessed De Voto Papers, Schlesinger Library; Julia Child to Avis DeVoto, Feb 7 1954, File 4, Box 1, De Voto Papers, Schlesinger Library; for discussion of whether shallots were available in the US see Julia to Avis n.d. but c. 1952 Box 1 Folder 1, De Voto papers.
11Asparagus from Tip to Butt,” The French Chef, Public Broadcasting Service, Boston, MA: April 25, 1966 and “Broccoli and Cauliflower,” The French Chef, Public Broadcasting Service, Boston, MA: March 23, 1964.
15Most of this literature proceeds from bell hooks’ essay, “Eating the Other,” bell hooks, “Eating the other: Desire and resistance.” In Black Looks: Race and Representation, Boston: South End Press, 1992, pp. 21–39. For a good introduction to work on “the exotic” see Lisa Heldke, Exotic Appetites: Ruminations of a Food Adventurer (New York: Routledge, 2003).
17For more in-depth discussion, see Andrew Haley, Turning the Tables: The American Middle Class and the Decline of the Aristocratic Restaurant, 1880-1920. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011); Harvey Levenstein, We’ll Always Have Paris: American Tourists In France Since 1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004); Christopher Endy, Cold War Holidays: American Tourism in France (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004); Polan, pp 98-100; Audrey Russek, Chapter 3, Culinary Citizenship in American Restaurants, 1919-1964,” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Texas-Austin.
18Whitney Walton, Internationalism, National Identities, and Study Abroad: France and the United States, 1890-1970 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010) 139; Endy, 207; see also Levenstein, 170-171; Child herself held more nuanced opinions about France and French people, often decrying stubbornness, poor technology, and general backwardness.
19Modern France has adopted a series of constitutions since, each one reconstituting the nation as a new republic. Its political history is typically divided by referring to these eras. De Gaulle’s return to power marked the Fifth Republic, which has lasted through the present.
21On public television’s emphasis programming, see Laurie Ouellete, Viewers Like You: How Public TV Failed the People (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002; GBH shared most educational television’s emphasis on current events and in several instances scheduled The French Chef just before or just after such programming. See for instance, Program Guides, July 1963; March and May 1966; October and November, 1970, GBH Archives.