Baghdad: The Indian Red Cross, at the Government Press, 1946. First edition. Black paper boards with title embossed to front board. Paper chipping along hinges and at extremities of the spine, corners bumped. In an original jacket that is Good only, with significant paper loss to the spine, chipping to corners of flaps, and a mark to the rear panel. Remnant of previous owner's label to front endpaper. Internally some light scattered foxing, but none of the stains frequently found in culinary texts of its kind. One of two copies currently on the market, this present work is reported at only 8 institutions according to OCLC.
"The art of cooking and the work of the Red Cross in aid of whose funds this is published are international, and they also have this in common that they both make for good feeling and for good fellowship. In this country Iraq, through which so many nations have passed, the kitchen has become international in a special sense, as each race has left traces of its culinary art...It is the result of friendly cooperation between Iraqi and British housewives." In the two years following a devastating world war, and at a time when questions of communism, democracy, and imperialism continued causing international tension, two groups of women joined together to find common ground. Between their two cultures, they found a mutual love of food influenced by multiple cultures, and an investment in using their organizational and culinary skills to fundraise for a charitable group that benefited them both. The result is that housewives, professional women with advanced degrees, and even members of the royal family got involved in the creation of the book, which also allowed them to draw attention to their own accomplishments from within a socially acceptable space. Her Majesty the Queen writes that it is "a scholarly, artistically executed and exceedingly interesting work." Including only "Recipes from Baghdad," the book contains guides to help western women navigate the markets, measurements, and social mores of the community around them. While the book is fully in English and appears intended for Englishwomen, this allows the Iraqi women to promote their knowledge and authority, and to present themselves as benevolent, diplomatic guides through their own world. An exceptional and rare cross-cultural community fundraising cookbook. Very Good + in Good dust jacket. (Item #2889)