Six Thousand Years of BreadIts Holy and Unholy History



First published in 1944 and the result of more two decades’ research, Six Thousand Years of Bread is a thought-provoking journey through bread’s role in politics, religion, technology, war, civilization, and beyond. A cult favorite among bakers and foodies, this beautiful new seventieth anniversary edition will fascinate philosophers, historians, and bakers alike.

From ancient Egypt to modern times, bread has been the essential food, the very symbol of fundamental well-being. First published in 1944 and the result of more two decades’ research, Six Thousand Years of Bread is a thought-provoking journey through bread’s role in politics, religion, technology, war, civilization, and beyond. A cult favorite among bakers and foodies, this beautiful new seventieth anniversary edition will fascinate philosophers, historians, and bakers alike.

The fascinating voyage begins with bread in prehistoric times and continues with an exploration of the plow, the discovery of baking, the Greek passion for seed corn and reverence for the bread goddess Demeter, the significance of the Bible’s many references to bread, and how bread contributed to the outcome of World War I. In a poignant conclusion, Jacob describes his own experiences subsisting on bread made of sawdust in a Nazi concentration camp. Six Thousand Years of Bread is a brilliant celebration of bread and the remarkable role it has played throughout human history.

H. E. Jacob wrote some forty books during his prolific career, including biographies, poetry, dramas, and histories. After fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany, he moved to New York and gained American citizenship. In the early fifties he returned to Germany, where he died in 1967.

Peter Reinhart is the author of many award-winning books on bread and culture, including The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread and Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. He is a baking instructor at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“In a colossal epic tale, Mr. Jacob has sketched world history-its folkways, its religion, its superstition, and its plagues, all in terms of bread.” -Wall Street Journal