Cod

Cod

A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World

Book - 1997
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An unexpected, energetic look at world history on sea and land from the bestselling author of Salt and The Basque History of the World

Cod , Mark Kurlansky's third work of nonfiction and winner of the 1999 James Beard Award , is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Europeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod, frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack. What was the staple of the medieval diet? Cod again, sold salted by the Basques, an enigmatic people with a mysterious, unlimited supply of cod. As we make our way through the centuries of cod history, we also find a delicious legacy of recipes, and the tragic story of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once their numbers were legendary. In this lovely, thoughtful history, Mark Kurlansky ponders the question: Is the fish that changed the world forever changed by the world's folly?

"Every once in a while a writer of particular skill takes a fresh, seemingly improbable idea and turns out a book of pure delight. Such is the case of Mark Kurlansky and the codfish." -David McCullough, author of The Wright Brothers and 1776

Publisher: Toronto : A.A. Knopf Canada, 1997.
ISBN: 9780140275018
9780676970616
0676970613
Branch Call Number: 333. 956633 KUR
Characteristics: viii, 294 p. : ill.

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k
kevinadams_53
Feb 21, 2018

Highly informative and very entertaining story. Who knew the lowly Codfish could have had such a great story to tell. Highly recommend it. Well worth your time!

l
lukasevansherman
Mar 29, 2015

A fascinating, absorbing book about a seemingly mundane fish. Also see the same author's book about salt.

NewtonFallsReads Oct 06, 2011

Great read from a favorite author. I never new one little fish could have such an impact on world history and politics.

g
Gardengallivant
Aug 28, 2010

The history of cod fishing and the story of greed, ignorance and technology that reduced the fish to near extinction in 500 years.
This book offers the personal view of the fishing industry, even offering the fishers' personal recipes, as well as the larger historical context that placed the modern fishers in their tenuous situation today.

k
kimmeld
Jun 18, 2010

Very good book. Anyone who thinks that history is boring should read this book and see how interesting well-told history can be.

The book is what it purports to be, namely a history of the codfish from early times up to the era of commercial fishing and near-extinction.

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