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No Pie-Eating People Can Ever Be Permanently Vanquished

[ 45 ] October 24, 2011 |

You’ve heard of racial determinism. But have you ever seen racial determinism combined with pie? I thought not. This 1902 New York Times article about the relationship between pie and national success will fill this gap in your knowledge. Among other things, it not only makes the statement used in the title of this post, but also asserts that the reason for the lack of British military success in South Africa comes from not supplying soldiers even with tart, not to mention full-fledged pie. It also seems that the decline of large slices of pie into the lame small tart originate with “the pernicious influence of the shopkeeping element,” and that our country is defined by its amazing pie, with each season bringing its own deliciousness.

Update: Unlike many readers, the link works for me, so I’m not sure what’s up. But I’ve included an image of the article itself:

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Comments (45)

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  1. This is the motto of the Bipartisan Cafe, 7901 SE Stark, Portland Or, 97215. Home made pies made frsh daily. Children and political discussion encouraged.

  2. Malaclypse says:

    The International Brotherhood of Jazz Dancers, Pastry Chefs and Nuclear Technicians is pro-pie as well.

    That said, link did not work for me.

  3. Simon says:

    What Mal said. Running Firefox on a Mac, if that matters.

  4. jon says:

    Look upon my pies in awe and wonder. Your tarts are beneath our notice.

    As evidence that God has foreordained our eternal dominance, I offer this strawberry rhubarb.

  5. rea says:

    So, why didn’t the Orioles win the pennant? Didn’t they give Felix Pie enough playing time?

  6. sleepyirv says:

    This is the secret reason I study history. I say it’s about better understanding human society and all that jazz, but it’s really just to read articles from 1902 about how important pie is to humanity.

  7. blowback says:

    Isn’t a quiche a pie, admittedly an open-faced one. So this claim falls at the first hurdle since the British have frequently vanquished the French, the other way round, no luck since 1066 and even then it was the Normans who had probably never heard of the quiche.
    Actually, the British eat rather a lot of pies, particularly on Saturday afternoons when watching football (ask Dave), which might explain why British football supporters have such a fearsome reputation that every one seems to want to emulate. And then there is the hot water crust pork pie, with all that lard and jelly, most Americans I have known are made ill just contemplating the concept, let alone from eating one.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Try this for the article location:

  9. One look at those tiny empanada, and it was clear that that 1846 unpleasantness was going to end badly for Mexico.

  10. Erik Loomis says:

    Am out. Will fix link when I get home. Quite a technologically impressive day for me…..

  11. Lurker says:

    The copyright notice at the bottom is fraudulent. If it was published in 1902, it is in public domain. Scanning is a mechanical act and does not re-establish copyright.

  12. ajay says:

    the reason for the lack of British military success in South Africa comes from not supplying soldiers even with tart

    Chastened by their early defeats in South Africa, British soldiers have never ceased their efforts since then to assure themselves of a regular and reliable supply of tarts.

  13. Steve says:

    Hear, hear, I heartily agree. Pies for the basis of civilized societies. I’m in favor, not just of fruit pies, but hearty meat pies, pocket pies, the misnamed quiche, pasties, turnovers, empanadas, tarts, turnovers, pierogi, calzones, cobblers, slumps, grunts, pizza! they are all pie to me and deserve recognition for their place in developing the modern world.

    Surely the last 1000 years of worldwide growth and conquest owes its status to pie.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pasties are my latest obsession. After numerous trips to the U.P., we finally tried them. Perfect for storing in your pack and taking on a hike! (And, I suppose for taking down to the iron mine). I’ve perfected my crust making, so I’m glad to have a new pie product to work on. Plus, how often do you get to use a rutabaga?

  14. […] Loomis at the blog Lawyers, Guns, and Money has a nice example of the fun stuff you can find when you read old newspapers. Schmitt argues that politics emerges in […]

  15. actor212 says:

    I bet the Spartans liked pie.

  16. Halloween Jack says:

    The authors of this treatise are clearly incognizant (uncognizant?) of the mince pie menace.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      I had forgotten about that mince pie menace piece. It is quite good. And not only were the authors here ignorant of it, they promoted mince pie as part of American glory.

      • ajay says:


        Just to add to the confusion, “mince” in the UK means what Americans call “ground beef” – except in mince pies, which I think are more or less the same on both sides. So if you put mince in a pie, what you definitely have not got is a mince pie.

  17. giotto says:

    So apparently Thomas Friedman and David Brooks have ALWAYS been at the NY Times. . .

  18. […] himself for generally being my least favourite of the Lawyers Guns and Money bloggers by having what may be the best-titled blog post ever. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  19. […] is the food of the heroic”. A 1902 article linking pie and national success from the Times. [Lawyers, Guns and Money]The slide shows for Carsten Höller’s exhibition, “Experience” at The New Museum […]

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  22. […] In 1902, a New York Times article comparing pie to American prosperity declared that “no pie-eating people can ever be permanently vanquished“. Americans took that sentiment and ran with it. When soldiers heading off to World War II […]

  23. […] for patriotism. This patriotism can even be seen in a 1902 New York Times article that boldly stated, “No pie-eating people can ever be permanently […]

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