The Joy of Cooking March 18, 2013 – Tags: Cooking, James Jaffe, Rare Books
It is the most popular and best-selling cookbook in American history, with nearly 18 million copies sold.
It is the only cookbook to be included in the New York Public Library’s list of 150 Influential Books of the Century.
The author marketed the book herself, selling copies out of her apartment for $3.00 apiece and sold approximately 2000 copies in two years, no mean accomplishment in the early years of the Great Depression.
six short paragraphs of text printed on the inside front flap of the jacket, Rombauer presented her thoughts and intentions in publishing The Joy of Cooking: “In this book every effort has been made to add variety and interest to everyday fare, as well as to provide dishes for special occasions.” Acutely aware of the economic depression into which she is casting her book, Rombauer goes on to note that “The Zeitgeist is reflected in the Chapter on Leftovers and in many other practical suggestions.” These comments do not appear in the one-page Preface to the book, and they are not printed elsewhere.