Michael S. Kideckel

Historian and Educator

Just Released!

Acquired Tastes

Stories about the Origins of Modern Food

I am a scholar, educator, and public historian who focuses on nature, food, capitalism, and the roles of women. I received a PhD in history from Columbia University in 2018. My book project, Fresh from the Factory: Breakfast Cereal, Natural Food, and the Business of Reform, 1890-1920, is currently under contract with Oxford University Press. It uses the breakfast cereal industry’s advocacy of “natural food” as a case study to explain the industrial roots of American ideas about nature. Manufacturers, it argues, industrialized the food supply by linking mechanization to nature. The work is based on my dissertation, which received the 2019 Bancroft Dissertation Award.

I currently teach at Princeton Day School in Princeton, NJ. My courses have focused on US history, geography, and food politics. I also emphasize collective memory, processes of inclusion and exclusion, and how historical narratives are constructed.

Contact me about business history, the politics of the word "natural," secondary school teaching with PhDs, and more.