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Salt: A World Historyby Mark Kurlansky
Synopses & Reviews
Mark Kurlansky, the bestselling author of Cod and The Basque History of the World, here turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Kurlansky's kaleidoscopic history is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.
"Kurlansky continues to prove himself remarkably adept at taking a most unlikely candidate and telling its tale with epic grandeur." Los Angeles Times Book Review
"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." Publishers Weekly
"Kurlansky thinks big....This is the big story Kurlansky unfolds in chapters that proceed from time immemorial to the present and cover such specific topics as 'Salt's Salad Days' in ancient Rome....Tasty, very tasty!" Ray Olson, Booklist (Starred Review)
"Kurlansky exhaustively documents every salt-related twist and turn of world history, but that becomes problematic....History's cyclical repetitions can be worth investigating, but much of Salt's timeline-marking activity could have been collapsed into one lengthy chapter and spiked with more analysis." Noel Murray, The Onion A.V. Club
"[A] remarkable book....While homemakers and master chefs alike should enjoy this book, it's also likely to consume the interest of those who survive on TV dinners." Alan Prince, BookPage
Book News Annotation:
Kurlansky combines thorough research with an engaging writing style to make this a readable and fascinating history. This is a handy paperback reprint of the first edition, which was published by Walker & Co. in 2002.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The bestselling author of Cod and The Basque History turns his attention to salt, a common household item with a long and intriguing history. In this multilayered masterpiece, Kurlansky explains how salt provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions.
The additive that flows under the radar
The most popular drug in America is a white powder. No, not that powder. This is caffeine in its most essential state. And Caffeinated reveals the little-known truth about this addictive, largely unregulated drug found in coffee, energy drinks, teas, colas, chocolate, and even pain relievers.
Well learn why caffeine has such a powerful effect on everything from boosting our mood to improving our athletic performance as well as how—and why—brands such as Coca-Cola have ducked regulatory efforts for decades. We learn the differences in the various ways caffeine is delivered to the body, how it is quietly used to reinforce our buying patterns, and how it can play a role in promoting surprising health problems like obesity and anxiety.
Drawing on the latest research, Caffeinated brings us the inside perspective at the additive that Salt Sugar Fat overlooked.
Youll never think the same way about your morning cup of coffee.” —Mark McClusky, editor in chief of Wired.com and author of Faster, Higher, Stronger
Journalist Murray Carpenter has been under the influence of a drug for nearly three decades. And hes in good company, because chances are youre hooked, too. Humans have used caffeine for thousands of years. A bitter white powder in its most essential form, a tablespoon of it would kill even the most habituated user. This addictive, largely unregulated substance is everywhere—in places youd expect (like coffee and chocolate) and places you wouldnt (like chewing gum and fruit juice), and Carpenter reveals its impact on soldiers, athletes, and even children. It can make you stronger, faster, and more alert, but its not perfect, and its role in health concerns like obesity and anxiety will surprise you.
Making stops at the coffee farms of central Guatemala, a synthetic caffeine factory in China, and an energy shot bottler in New Jersey, among numerous other locales around the globe, Caffeinated exposes the high-stakes but murky world of caffeine, drawing on cutting-edge science and larger-than-life characters to offer an unprecedented understanding of Americas favorite drug.
About the Author
Mark Kurlansky is the author of Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World and The Basque History of the World. Cod received a James Beard Award for Excellence in Food Writing and was a New York Times bestseller.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION The Rock 1
PART ONE A Discourse on Salt, Cadavers, and Pungent Sources
CHAPTER ONE A Mandate of Salt 17
CHAPTER TWO Fish, Fowl, and Pharoahs 36
CHAPTER THREE Saltmen Hard as Codfish 52
CHAPTER FOUR Salt's Salad Days 61
CHAPTER FIVE Salting It Away in the Adriatic 80
CHAPTER SIX Two Ports and the Prosciutto in Between 91
PART TWO The Glow of Herring and the Scent of Conquest
CHAPTER SEVEN Friday's Salt 109
CHAPTER EIGHT A Nordic Dream 129
CHAPTER NINE A Well-Salted Hexagon 144
CHAPTER TEN The Hapsburg Pickle 162
CHAPTER ELEVEN The Leaving of Liverpool 179
CHAPTER TWELVE American Salt Wars 200
CHAPTER THIRTEEN Salt and Independence 214
CHAPTER FOURTEEN LibertÃ©, EgalitÃ©, Tax Breaks 225
CHAPTER FIFTEEN Preserving Independence 238
CHAPTER SIXTEEN The War Between the Salts 257
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Red Salt 276
PART THREE Sodium's Perfect Marriage
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN The Odium of Sodium 291
CHAPTER NINETEEN The Mythology of Geology 303
CHAPTER TWENTY The Soil Never Sets On 318
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE Salt and the Great Soul 333
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO Not Looking Back 355
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE The Last Salt Days of Zigong 369
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR Ma, La, and Mao 388
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE More Salt than Fish 399
CHAPTER TWENTY SIX Big Salt, Little Salt 426
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