America’s Gilded Age, the last quarter of the nineteenth century, is renowned for the excesses of robber barons and tycoons and their culture of conspicuous consumption. The lavishness of their tables impressed contemporaries and historians alike. But what about the eating habits of ordinary people at the time? Robert Dirks, author of Food in the Gilded Age, poses that question and discovers some surprising answers by peering through the lens of what then was a newly emerging science of nutrition.