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OP: The Classic Italian Cookbook and More Classic Italian Cooking (2 vols)

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by Marcella Hazan

Alfred A. Knopf, 1976 and 1978. Hardcover. Near Fine. 

It’s hard to imagine that a book and author with such influential friends and supporters as Craig Claiborne and Julia Child would struggle to find enthusiastic reception from the public. But such was the case with Marcella Hazan’s first book, The Classic Italian Cookbook (1973), originally issued by Harper’s Magazine Press.

Marcella Hazan (1942–2013) was from Emilia-Romagna, Italy but settled in America and established a long and influential career as a cooking instructor and cookbook author. Written in a powerful voice with strong opinions, Hazan’s books would come to be some of the most highly regarded Italian cookbooks available in the US. But that was only after editor Judith Jones rescued Classic Italian from Harper, who was woefully unprepared to market cookbooks at the time, and took it over at Knopf. 

The Classic Italian Cookbook, reissued by Knopf in 1976, was such an outstanding hit that a second volume, More Classic Italian Cooking, followed two years later. The books remain in print in a combined volume, The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, and this is still the first book we pull off the shelf when anyone is looking for the quintessential Italian cookbook.

We offer here a set of first printings of both volumes, as published by Knopf. The book block in both cases is Near Fine with very modest shelfwear. The jackets for both are Very Good Plus.

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