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05 November 2015
Literary theory; Philosophy: aesthetics; Society & Social Sciences; Material culture
Series: Object Lessons
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. It may be responsible for a greater improvement in human diet and longevity than any other technology of the last two thousand years - but have you ever thought seriously about your refrigerator? That box humming in the background displays more than you might expect, even who you are and the society in which you live. Jonathan Rees examines the past, present, and future of the household refrigerator with the aim of preventing its users from ever taking it for granted again. No mere container for cold Cokes and celery stalks, the refrigerator acts as a mirror - and what it reflects is chilling indeed. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
By:   Jonathan Rees (Colorado State University - Pueblo USA)
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 165mm,  Width: 121mm,  Spine: 15mm
Weight:   134g
ISBN:   9781628924329
ISBN 10:   1628924322
Series:   Object Lessons
Pages:   136
Publication Date:   05 November 2015
Audience:   College/higher education ,  A / AS level ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction Chapter One: How Refrigerators Work Chapter Two: How to Make Your Refrigerator Stand Out Chapter Three: Are the Benefits of Refrigeration Worth the Costs? Chapter Four: Waste and Wants Chapter Five: Freezing and Freezers Conclusion Notes Index
Author Website:

Jonathan Rees is Professor of History at Colorado State University - Pueblo, USA. He is the author of four books, including of Refrigeration Nation: A History of Ice, Appliances, and Enterprise in America (2013) and Industrialization and the Transformation of American Life: A Brief Introduction (2012).

Reviews for Refrigerator: Object Lessons

Does life exist without refrigerators? For most of us, the answer is no. How this common kitchen appliance achieved its indispensable status in less than a century is an amazing tale filled with surprising twists and unexpected connections. Refrigerator is a delight to read. Bravo! Andrew F. Smith, Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America Allow Jonathan Rees to re-introduce you to the most underappreciated appliance in your kitchen: the refrigerator. Despite its recent and as yet patchy arrival on the world stage, the humble fridge has transformed how and what we eat, for better and for worse. This concise overview should be required reading for the 99.5 percent of Americans who own a refrigerator. Nicola Twilley, author of Edible Geography and contributing writer at The New Yorker Jonathan Rees's Refrigerator offers a meticulously observed history of the 'cold chain' of industrialized food webs, explains how refrigeration works; and goes so far as to imagine life with and without it. Beyond this mini-historical account, the real heft to this title lies in the implied ecological impact of what doing without refrigeration might mean for those in the West for whom it has become taken for granted. -- Julian Yates Los Angeles Review of Books

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