COD: a Biography of the Fish That Changed the World

COD: a Biography of the Fish That Changed the World : A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World

3.92 (13,662 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Cod" spans a thousand years and four continents. From the Vikings, who pursued the codfish across the Atlantic, and the enigmatic Basques, who first commercialized it in medieval times, to Bartholomew Gosnold, who named Cape Cod in 1602, and Clarence Birdseye, who founded an industry on frozen cod in the 1930s, Mark Kurlansky introduces the explorers, merchants, writers, chefs, and of course the fishermen, whose lives have interwoven with this prolific fish. He chronicles the fifteenth-century politics of the Hanseatic League and the cod wars of the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. He embellishes his story with gastronomic detail, blending in recipes and lore from the Middle Ages to the present. And he brings to life the cod itself: its personality, habits, extended family, and ultimately the tragedy of how the most profitable fish in history is today faced with extinction. From fishing ports in New England and Newfoundland to coastal skiffs, schooners, and factory ships across the Atlantic; from Iceland and Scandinavia to the coasts of England, Brazil, and West Africa, Mark Kurlansky tells a story that brings world history and human passions into captivating more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 127 x 170.18 x 30.48mm | 294.83g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Open market ed
  • 0140275010
  • 9780140275018
  • 100,521

Review quote

-A charming fish tale and a pretty gift for your favorite seafood cook or fishing monomaniac. But in the last analysis, it's a bitter ecological fable for our time.- -Los Angeles Times -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 1776, John Adams, and The Wright Brothers -One of the 25 Best Books of the Year.- -The New York Public Library -A subject as mighty and tragic as this deserves an excellent biographer, and in Mark Kurlansky, cod has found one. Beautifully written and elegantly illustrated . . . Kurlansky's marvelous fish opus stands as a reminder of what good non-fiction used to be: eloquent, learned, and full of earthy narratives that delight and appall.- -The Globe and Mail -In the end the book stands as a kind of elegy, a loving eulogy not only to a fish, but to the people whose lives have been shaped by the habits of the fish, and whose way of life is now at an end.- -Newsday -What a prodigious creature is the cod. Kurlansky's approach is intriguing - and deceptively whimsical. This little book is a work of no small consequence.- -Business Week -In the story of the cod, Mark Kurlansky has found the tragic fable of our age - abundance turned to scarcity through determined shortsightedness. This classic history will stand as an epitaph and a warning.- -Bill McKibbenshow more

About Mark Kurlansky

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 more

Table of contents

Prologue: Sentry on the Headlands (So Close to Ireland) PART ONE: A FISH TALE 1: The Race to Codlandia 2: With Mouth Wide Open 3: The Cod Rush 4: 1620: The Rock and the Cod 5: Certain Inalienable Rights 6: A Cod War Heard 'Round the World PART TWO: LIMITS 7: A Few New Ideas Versus Nine Million Eggs 8: The Last Two Ideas 9: Iceland Discovers the Finite Universe 10: Three Wars to Close the Open Sea PART THREE: THE LAST HUNTERS 11: Requiem for the Grand Banks 12: The Dangerous Waters of Nature's Resilience 13: Bracing for the Spanish Armada 14: Bracing for the Canadian Armada A COOK'S TALE: SIX CENTURIES OF COD RECIPES Bibliography Acknowledgments Indexshow more

Rating details

13,662 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 29% (3,925)
4 42% (5,694)
3 24% (3,295)
2 4% (579)
1 1% (169)
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