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Salt: A World History by [Mark Kurlansky]
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Salt: A World History Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,119 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Only Kurlansky, winner of the James Beard Award for Excellence in Food Writing for Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, could woo readers toward such an off-beat topic. Yet salt, Kurlansky asserts, has "shaped civilization." Although now taken for granted, these square crystals are not only of practical use, but over the ages have symbolized fertility (it is, after all, the root of the word "salacious") and lasting covenants, and have been used in magical charms. Called a "divine substance" by Homer, salt is an essential part of the human body, was one of the first international commodities and was often used as currency throughout the developing world. Kurlansky traces the history of salt's influences from prehistoric China and ancient Africa (in Egypt they made mummies using salt) to Europe (in 12th-century Provence, France, salt merchants built "a system of solar evaporation ponds") and the Americas, through chapters with intriguing titles like "A Discourse on Salt, Cadavers and Pungent Sauces." The book is populated with characters as diverse as frozen-food giant Clarence Birdseye; Gandhi, who broke the British salt law that forbade salt production in India because it outdid the British salt trade; and New York City's sturgeon king, Barney Greengrass. Throughout his engaging, well-researched history, Kurlansky sprinkles witty asides and amusing anecdotes. A piquant blend of the historic, political, commercial, scientific and culinary, the book is sure to entertain as well as educate. Pierre Laszlo's Salt: Grain of Life (Forecasts, Aug. 6) got to the finish line first but doesn't compare to this artful narrative. 15 recipes, 4o illus., 7 maps.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From the Back Cover

"Kurlansky continues to prove himself remarkably adept at taking a most unlikely candidate and telling its tale with epic grandeur. Salt: A World History reveals all the hidden drama of its seemingly pedestrian subject…. an immensely entertaining read.” -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Stylishly written and wonderfully learned … William Blake famously suggested that the world was to be seen in a grain of sand; Kurlansky has seen it in a grain of salt.” -- The Observer

"Mark Kurlansky’s almost 500-page opus on earth’s only edible rock is the stuff of which epics are born…." -- Zsuzsi Gartner, The Globe and Mail, Saturday, January 26, 2002

"In Salt, Mark Kurlansky, who charmed readers with an entertaining volume on the codfish, turns to a chemical that is essential to human life….darned interesting…. Kurlansky gives us entertainment…. At its best, this is a "wow!" book: roving, startling, engaging." -- Sidney W. Mintz, The Washington Post, Sunday, January 27, 2002

“Only Mark Kurlansky, winner of the James Beard Award for Excellence in Food Writing for Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, could woo readers toward such an off-beat topic of Salt: A World History...Throughout his engaging, well-researched history, Kurlansky sprinkles witty asides and amusing anecdotes. A piquant blend of the historic, political, commercial, scientific and culinary, the book is sure to entertain as well as educate.” -- PW Daily, Friday, Nov. 16


From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
1,119 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

Marcus Gallardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Ingredient Shapes World History
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2018
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Cathy
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing and satisfying read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 3, 2017
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Finbarr O'Halloran
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read. Incredible to view world history as we are taught it through the lens of salt
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 29, 2018
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Jules
4.0 out of 5 stars A well seasoned read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2014
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H Eaton
5.0 out of 5 stars All salt, no fault.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2017
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Tweedledum
5.0 out of 5 stars Nulla sine sale salus
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 22, 2013
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Orinoco
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story and well told,
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2017
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Business Book Worm
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a very enjoyable history built around a product ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2014
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Dag Viljen Poleszynski
4.0 out of 5 stars A very thorough review of the history of salt
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 24, 2018
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David Cockle
5.0 out of 5 stars A great overview of some of the little bits of History ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 21, 2017
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Ishmael B
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you never wanted to know about salt
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 5, 2014
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ddan
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2013
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Mrs Pamela Molyneux
5.0 out of 5 stars The price was amazing and it came in quick time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2014
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Manuel B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 8, 2018
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Duncan Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 15, 2017
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