Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man

Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man

Hardback

By (author) Mark Kurlansky

List price $34.05

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  • Publisher: Doubleday & Co Inc.
  • Format: Hardback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 208mm x 28mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 5 September 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385527055
  • ISBN 13: 9780385527057
  • Illustrations note: ART THROUGHOUT TEXT
  • Sales rank: 536,405

Product description

Break out the TV dinners! From the author who gave us" Cod," "Salt," and other informative bestsellers, the first biography of Clarence Birdseye, the eccentric genius inventor whose fast-freezing process revolutionized the food industry and American agriculture.

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Author information

MARK KURLANSKY is the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including The Food of a Younger Land, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, Salt: A World History, 1968: The Year That Rocked the World, and The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell. He lives in New York City.

Review quote

Advance Praise for "Birdseye" "Kurlansky brings Birdseye to life.... Covering the science behind Birdseye's... inventions along with intimate details of his family life, [he] skillfully weaves a fluid narrative of facts on products, packaging, and marketing into this rags-to-riches portrait of the man whose ingenuity brought revolutionary changes to 20th-century life."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred) "Yes, the frozen-food guy really "was" named Clarence Birdseye (1886-1956), and the story of his adventures is another satisfying dish from the remarkable menu of the author of "Cod" (1997), "Salt" (2002) and other treats. Kurlansky...places Birdseye in the same category as Thomas Edison: amateurs who got curious about a problem, played around with it (sometimes for years) and eventually figured it out. Birdseye had many more interests than frozen foods, writes the author; he invented, among other things, a kind of light bulb and even a whaling harpoon. He also grew up in a world that seemed to have limitless resources--no worries about plundering the planet. He killed creatures with abandon for decades, many of which he enjoyed eating, including field mice, chipmunks and porcupine. His curiosity also made him fearless. He conducted field research on Rocky Mountain spotted fever (collecting thousands of ticks), and he lived in the frigid Labrador region of Canada (and took his equally fearless wife and their infant). It was in the North that he began to wonder why foods frozen there--naturally--tasted so much better than the frozen foods back home. He discovered, of course, that it was quick-freezing at very cold temperatures that did the trick. He eventually invented the process that produced vast amounts of good frozen food, but then had to wait for the supporting infrastructure (transportation, storage, etc.). Kurlansky tells the exciting tale of Birdseye's adventures, failures and successes (he became a multi-millionaire) and his family, and