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barbecue books Smoke eore, Weber’s Uetimate Grieeing, & Tropicae Cocktaies  Doug Mosley Resident Book Guru   I have a confession to make this month: I have been completely self- ish and have withheld something from you a bit longer than I should have. It was inexcusable for me to have not already submitted a review for the new book “Smoke Lore: A Short History of Barbecue in Amer- ica” by Jim Auchmutey ($32.95, The University of Georgia Press, 266 pp.). Please accept this mea culpa and apology. Why did I commit this faux pas, you ask? Well, selfishness was definitely at the core of my error. You see, each month I have to quickly read through the books that I will in- clude in that review. As much as I truly enjoy these books, it is just impossible to read every page of every book. I do my best to get a thorough feel for the books and always keep in mind there was a person who wrote that book to whom I owe them to be fair. At the same time, I want to provide valuable information to you, our readers. So when I first picked up “Smoke Lore” and began to get to know the book, I found myself slowing down and leisurely reading through all the stories that Auchmutey shares and fur- ther enjoying the trove of historic pictures that grace practically every page. It soon became apparent to me that I might never get to the end of this wonderful book due to the slow pace at which I was progressing through the pages. There were so many familiar names – Mike Mills, Melissa Cookston, the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Contest, Henry Perry, Arthur Bryant, Ollie Gates, Poole’s Bar-B-Q and Pig Hill of Fame, Big Bob Gibson’s, Maurice Bessinger, Big Daddy Bishop, Gary and Carolyn Wells, Tuffy Stone, Myron Mixon, the Jack Daniels Invitation, and also The National Barbecue News and the incredible Phelps family. It was as if this book was the barbecue Who’s Who. But even beyond all the fa- miliar names is the expertly told tales that Auchmutey weaves into the pages, like the one about a Weber saleman named Ed Reilly who has a collection of over 300 grills and assorted cookers. Or about the fancy GE Partio Cart that Presi- dent Dwight Eisenhower grilled on after leaving the White House. I have always had a special place in my heart for books that tell the story of bar- becue, such as Doug Worgul’s “The Grand Barbecue” and Lolis Eric Elie’s “Smoke- stack Lightning”, just to name a couple. When done well and accurately, these books are a considerable effort to put to- gether. It requires painstaking research and razor-sharp memory to keep it all clear. There are stories upon stories that must be vetted and even when you think you’ve arrived at the bottom line there is yet another claimant with new evidence that their county was the first to bring forth Brunswick stew, for one example. There is no doubt that Auchmutey did his homework well on this book because it shows through and through. Take that and combine it with his immense writing talents – as evidenced by his twice being named Cox Newspapers writer of the year – makes for a book that I know you will read over and over again. It’s just that doggone good. So go buy it now! Way back in 1999, Jamie Purviance was part of a team that wrote “Weber’s Art of the Grill”, a book that I would describe in these pages as “...a coffee table barbecue book...”. My reference was made to how the book was beautifully composed with graphics and full-color pic- tures that were beyond what any other publisher was doing at the time in a cookbook. Since then Weber and Purviance have been synonymous when it comes the books that have followed that one. Prior to this year there have been at least 15 other volumes, all of them building upon the high standard that each previous one - 42 SEPTEMBER 2019 

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