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(Virtual) Prologue: On Barbecue by John Shelton Reed, October 11



On Monday, October 11th, host Ben Steelman of the Star News sat down (virtually) with author John Shelton Reed to discuss his new book On Barbecue.

In the collection, On Barbecue, Reed compiles reviews, essays, magazine articles, op-eds, and book extracts from his many-year obsession with the history and culture of barbecue. Brought together, these pieces constitute a broad look at the cultural, culinary, historical, and social aspects of this American institution.

Reed’s original and provocative voice carries through this collection, which spans more than twenty years of barbecue lore. A lover of tradition whose study of regional distinctions has made him prize and defend them, Reed writes with conviction on what “real” barbecue looks, smells, and tastes like. He delves into the history of barbecue and even the origins of the word barbecue itself. Other topics include present-day barbecue, Carolina ’cue and other regional varieties, and even the role of "barbeculture" in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

Reed is the author of 22 books, including The Enduring South, Glorious Battle and (with his late wife Dale) Holy Smoke: The Big Book of Southern Barbecue.

He has been a consultant for Southern Living, Quaker Grits, and the Turner South cable network; dramaturg for the musical comedy Kudzu; and a judge at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. He is co-founder and Éminence Grease of the Campaign for Real Barbecue (TrueCue.org) and a lieutenant colonel in the Unorganized Militia of South Carolina.

Reed has also been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the National Humanities Center, and twice a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. In addition to holding visiting positions at several universities, he taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, retiring in 2000 as William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of sociology and director of the Howard Odum Institute for Research in Social Science. He helped to found the university's Center for the Study of the American South and the quarterly Southern Cultures.

Mary Bradley moved to Wilmington from Los Angeles, CA in May 2007 with her husband Frank and twin baby daughters, Maggie and Kate. In California, Mary had been Drive Director and the producer of Elvis Mitchell's nationally syndicated public radio interview program "The Treatment" for public radio station KCRW for ten years. Mary was raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Boston University. Mary recently served as President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Cape Fear Chapter.