Cod

Cod

A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World

Book - 1998
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Wars have been fought over it, revolutions have been spurred by it, national diets have been based on it, economies have depended on it, and the settlement of North America was driven by it. 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.

Cod is a charming tour of history with all its economic forces laid bare and a fish story embellished with great gastronomic detail. It is also a tragic tale of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once the cod's numbers were legendary. In this deceptively whimsical biography of a fish, Mark Kurlansky brings a thousand years of human civilization into captivating focus.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Vintage Canada, 1998, c1997
Edition: 1st Vintage Canada ed. --
ISBN: 9780676971118
0676971113
Branch Call Number: 333.956633 Kur 3558ad 1
Characteristics: viii, 294 p. :,ill

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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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