- Age Range: 18 and up
- Grade Level: 09 - 12
- Lexile Measure: 1200L (What's this?)
- Paperback: 294 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (July 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140275010
- ISBN-13: 978-0140275018
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 337 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World 1st Edition
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“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 McKibben
About the Author
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.
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And furthermore, I suggest you do the same - I now know more about fishing than I ever expected to, but I am truly interested in the whole story of the fish this volume celebrates! I've learned more history and refreshed my grasp of geographywithin the pages of this little book than I have in years! I feel I could probably hold a conversation with an old salt fisherman on the merits of the quality of cod caught off of the Grand Banks! I really enjoyed this book and I am now reading Kurlansky's book "Dancing in the Streets" and next in line is his book about the Basque people! Oh and I heartily reccomend KUrlansky's book "Salt" it is astounding!
Kurlansky relooks recent history from the perspective of the pursuit of Atlantic cod, a once unbelievably prolific species overfished into near oblivion. Kurlansky traces the fishing history from multiple perspectives, including that of the Basque, who may have been fishing for abundant cod off Newfoundland even before Columbus "discovered" the New World. The Basque were followed by the French, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the English, and the Americans; the cod catch fed populations on both sides of the Atlantic. The overfishing led to the present state of the fishing fleet of Gloucester, Massachusetts, all but shut down by restrictions intended to save remaining cod stocks, a situation shared by fellow fishermen in Newfoundland.
Kurlansky's narrative moves back and forth between the past and the present, as cod fuels the economic growth of colonial New England and eastern Canada, but dwindles in the present. The author closes each chapter with a selection of historical recipes for cooking cod, which should be quite interesting to the seafood cooks in the audience. He successfully mines what could have been a mundane topic for lots of human interest angles, and a possibly prophetic look at the future of wild fish harvesting, a future still in doubt when Kurlansky closed out his book. "Cod" is very highly recommended to readers with an interest in the fish and the industry.
Of course this is not the complete story. This book also tells of rapacious greed and hypocrisy on the part of fishermen and governments all around the Atlantic Ocean. The fish pays the price!
The near extinction of this once most plentiful ocean resource is a blight on man and his incapacity to control his greed and destructive nature.
There is ultimately hope. Hope that the legendary cod will return in the vast schools it once did, and that we will be better able to maintain a healthy population!
Well worth reading!
Most recent customer reviews
that and Guns Germs and Steel
Recommend highly a must read. Thank you for sharing.