by Robert F. Moss

A narrative history that traces liquor, beer, and wine drinking in the American South, including 40 cocktail recipes.

Ask almost anyone to name a uniquely Southern drink, and bourbon, mint juleps, and possibly moonshine are usually the only beverages that come up. But what about rye whiskey, Madeira wine, and fine imported Cognac? Or peach brandy, applejack, and lager beer? At various times in the past, these drinks were as likely to be found at the Southern bar as barrel-aged bourbon and raw corn likker. The image of genteel planters in white suits sipping mint juleps on the veranda is a myth that never was — the true picture is far more complex and fascinating. Southern Spirits is the first book to tell the full story of liquor, beer, and wine in the American South. (Read more)

Barbecue Lover's Carolinas (Globe Pequot, 2015). From roadside stands to legendary joints, Barbecue Lover's Carolinas celebrates the best barbecue that North and South Carolina have to offer. Perfect for both the local barbecue enthusiast and the traveling visitor alike, this book features the history of barbecue in the Carolinas as well as mouthwatering descriptions of the culinary styles prevalent in Eastern North Carolina and the Pee Dee; The Piedmont; The Midlands and Lowcountry of South Carolina; and The Upstate and the Mountains. Learn where to find and—most important—where to consume the best of local offerings like delicious smoked pork (be it pulled, chopped, sliced, or all of the above), unique barbecue stews—Brunswick in North Carolina, hash and rice in South Carolina—and distinctive regional sauces and signature side dishes. Includes recipes for some of the Carolina’s most iconic dishes and plenty of fun stories along the way.

Going Lardcore: Adventures in New Southern Dining (Palmetto New Media, 2012). Pimento cheese was invented by New Yorkers. Fried green tomatoes are Yankee impostors. Rum and rye whiskey, not bourbon, were the original Southern spirits. And, nothing could be less surprising than finding good, honest cooking tucked away in a strip mall. These are just a few of the assertions that I make in this collection of articles and essays on eating and drinking in the modern South. The topics range from the stories behind classic dishes like shrimp-and-grits and she-crab soup to commentary on the current state of dining in the era of New Southern cuisine.

Currently available in a Kindle edition on and in an ePub edition for the Nook at

Barbecue: The History of an American Institution (University of Alabama Press, 2010). This volume draws on hundreds of sources to document the evolution of barbecue from its origins among Native Americans to its present status as an icon of American culture. It's the story not just of a dish but of a social institution that helped shape the many regional cultures of the United States. The history begins with British colonists' adoption of barbecuing techniques from Native Americans in the 16th and 17th centuries, moves to barbecue's establishment as the preeminent form of public celebration in the 19th century, and is carried through to barbecue’s iconic status today. (read more)

As of September 2014: Now available in a Kindle edition, too.

Raymond Chandler: A Literary Reference (Carroll &Graf, 2003). A "documentary biography," this book provides detailed account of the life and literary career Raymond Chandler, America's foremost hardboiled detective novelist. Amply illustrated with personal photographs and with reproductions of manuscript pages, letters, print ads, movie promotions, dust jackets, and paperback covers, this volume follows Chandler's career from his early pulp fiction to his classic detective novels.

Raymond Chandler: A Documentary Volume (Gale Group, 2001). Yes, this is the same book as Raymond Chandler: A Literary Reference. It's actually the original edition, part of the Dictionary of Literary Biography library reference series, which is why the price tag is so steep!

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