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Dalia Carmel

Biographical Note

Food scholar Dalia Carmel has been called "the angel of American food writers" because she made her 11,000-volume personal library of cookbooks available to all who asked. Assembled over 40 years, the library covers nearly every geographical area, ethnicity, and ingredient.

Born in Israel, Carmel came to the United States in 1960. She had been inadvertently caught up in Operation Suzannah, a 1954 plot to undermine international support for Egypt as a reliable administrator of the Suez Canal. When the operation failed, it morphed into a political quagmire known as the Lavon Affair. Because Carmel, then a young soldier working in the Finance Ministry, had, under orders, altered a document related to the affair, she unhappily became a public figure.

Carmel discusses the Lavon Affair; her eventual decision to leave Israel, first for London and eventually—she thought temporarily—for the United States; the gradual development of her cookbook collection, and her decision to donate the volumes to the Fales Library.

Access Points

Avigur, Shaoul
Ben-Gurion, David, 1886-1973
Brown, Bianca
Carmel, Dalia
De Silva, Cara
Eshkol, Levi, 1895-1969
Gibli, Binyamin
Goldstein, Herbert
Hausner, Gideon, 1915-1990
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara
Lavon , Pinchas
Nestle, Marion
Pachter, Mina
Peer, Edith
Stern, Annie
Taube, Judith
Taylor, Marvin J.

El al, netive aṿir le-Yiśrael (El Al Israel Airlines)
Fales Library
Yad ṿa-shem, rashut ha-zikaron la-Shoah ṿela-gevurah (Yad Vashem, Jerusalem)

Book collecting
Cooking, American -- History -- 20th century
Cooking, Jewish -- History -- 20th century
Concentration camp inmates' writings
Dinners and dining
International cooking
Israel -- Politics and government -- 1948-1967
Publishers and publishing

Interview 1, September 24, 2010

Box: Electronic Records, E-records: MSS_309.ref14.1 (Material Type: electronic records)

Scope and Content

Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Interview 2, October 1, 2010

Box: Electronic Records, E-records: MSS_309.ref15.1 (Material Type: electronic records)

Scope and Content

Running time: 1 hour, 13 minutes

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012