I never though I'd read a cookbook, but Jeff Smith is such an engaging personality that I was almost left wanting more prose and less recipes! If you like cooking and you like history, this book will deliver on both counts.
I like the book and will be using for home school classes on food and culture. I enjoy Mr Smith on PBS and like the old time cooks who only promoted books and not themselves so much. Good info, good recipes well done. Not perfect by any measure but solid and good.