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Founding Fish (03 Edition)

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Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

John McPhee's twenty-sixth book is a braid of personal history, natural history, and American history, in descending order of volume. Each spring, American shad-Alosa sapidissima-leave the ocean in hundreds of thousands and run heroic distances upriver to spawn.

McPhee--a shad fisherman himself--recounts the shad's cameo role in the lives of George Washington and Henry David Thoreau. He fishes with and visits the laboratories of famous ichthyologists; he takes instruction in the making of shad darts from a master of the art; and he cooks shad in a variety of ways, delectably explained at the end of the book. Mostly, though, he goes fishing for shad in various North American rivers, and he "fishes the same way he writes books, avidly and intensely. He wants to know everything about the fish he's after--its history, its habits, its place in the cosmos" (Bill Pride, The Denver Post). His adventures in pursuit of shad occasion the kind of writing--expert and ardent--at which he has no equal.

John McPhee is the author of more than 25 books, including Annals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 1999. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. McPhee's Encounters with the Archdruid and The Curve of Binding Energy were both nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science.

A New York Times Notable Book

The Founding Fish, John McPhee's twenty-sixth book, is a braid of personal history, natural history, and American history, in descending order of volume. McPhee is a shad fisherman. He waits all year for the short spring season when delicious American shadAlosa sapidissimaleave the ocean in hundreds of thousands and run up rivers heroic distances to spawn. He approaches them with a catch-and-eat philosophy. After all, their specific name means "most savory."

McPhee presents his obsession in bold and spirited prose. His research illuminates the sometimes surprising relevance of this fish in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America, and its unique appeal to imaginative historians. George Washington was a commercial shad fishermanin 1771 he caught 7,760 American shad. The fish had a cameo in the lives of Henry David Thoreau and John Wilkes Booth. Planked shad (shad nailed to a board and broiled before an open fire) was invented by the Colony in Schuylkill, a Philadelphia fishing club founded in 1732, which now considers itself the fourteenth of the fifty-one united states.

McPhee fishes with and visits the laboratories of various ichthyologists, including a fish behaviorist and an anatomist of fishes, he takes instruction in the making of shad darts from a master of the art; and he cooks shad and shad roe in a variety of ways, delectably explained at the end of the book. Mostly, though, he goes fishing for shad in various North American riversin Florida, in Maritime Canada, but especially in the Delaware River, nearest his home, where he stands for hours in stocking waders and cleated boots, or seeks pools below riffles and rapids in a canoe. His adventures in pursuit of shad occasion the kind of writingexpert and ardentat which he has no equal.

"The Founding Fish is . . . far more than a fishing book. It is a mini-encyclopedia, a highly informative and entertaining amalgam of natural and personal history, a work in a class by itself."Robert H. Boyle, The New York Times Book Review

"Under McPhee's close eye, everything about this fish is fascinating."William Moody, The Christian Science Monitor

"There are many descriptions one might give to the writing of Pulitzer Prize winner McPheeentertaining, wry, surprising, inventivebut the quality most prominently on display in his newest work is uncompromising thoroughness. The book recounts the complete history of the delicious fish known as the shadnot just of hunting, cleaning and eating the fish, but of the famous men who caught it (William Penn, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln among them), the writers who penned heartfelt tributes to it, the biologists and ichthyologists who try to uncover its secrets and the animal activists who fight on its behalf. It is likely that no one will ever write another book quite like this one, a book that manages to relate every possible snippet of shad lore while at the same time offering up humorous tales of the author's own fishing expeditions. The book will no doubt emerge as a must-read for those already enamored of shad. For the rest of us, it serves as an example of nonfiction writing at its finestintimate and suggestive, authoritative and convincing."Beth Kephart, Book

"Suitably, and lucky for readers, there isn't a dry patch in this story of a fish and its homewaters. It's owlish, reflective, full of sustaining information you had no idea you wanted to know, but also warm and full of McPhee, a shad fisherman, with rod and dart and fly, of long standing . . . Readers tending toward hard science will be pleased with the clear-minded icthyological material, while those whose slant is more in the direction of humanities will graze enjoyable on the historical and anecdotal parts."Kirkus Reviews

"McPhee is in great form here, as informative as always but also funny, unusually self-revealing, and quite passionate in his discussions of the dire effects dams have had on shad and rivers alike, and the troubling realization that catch-and-release fishing 'may be cruelty masquerading as political correctness.'"Booklist

"McPhee reaffirms his stature as a bold American original. His prose is rugged, straightforward and unassuming, and can be just as witty. This book sings like anglers' lines cast on the water. It runs with the wisdom of ocean-going shad."Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

Lauded as "a fishing classic" ("The Economist") upon its publication in hardcover, McPhee's 26th book is a braid of personal history, natural history, and American history, in descending order of volume.

Synopsis:

John McPhee's twenty-sixth book is a braid of personal history, natural history, and American history, in descending order of volume. Each spring, American shad-Alosa sapidissima-leave the ocean in hundreds of thousands and run heroic distances upriver to spawn.

McPhee--a shad fisherman himself--recounts the shad's cameo role in the lives of George Washington and Henry David Thoreau. He fishes with and visits the laboratories of famous ichthyologists; he takes instruction in the making of shad darts from a master of the art; and he cooks shad in a variety of ways, delectably explained at the end of the book. Mostly, though, he goes fishing for shad in various North American rivers, and he "fishes the same way he writes books, avidly and intensely. He wants to know everything about the fish he's after--its history, its habits, its place in the cosmos" (Bill Pride, The Denver Post). His adventures in pursuit of shad occasion the kind of writing--expert and ardent--at which he has no equal.

About the Author

John McPhee is a staff writer for The New Yorker. His previous book, Annals of the Former World, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 1999.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374528836
Author:
Mcphee, John
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Author:
McPhee, John
Location:
New York
Subject:
Fish
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
History
Subject:
North America
Subject:
Shad fishing
Subject:
American shad.
Subject:
Fishing - General
Subject:
Shad fishing - North America - History
Subject:
Animals - Fish
Subject:
Outdoors-Fishing
Subject:
Fishing
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20030931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.32 x 5.52 x 0.915 in

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Fish
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Oceanography » Fish
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Fishing and Hunting » Fishing » General
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Fishing and Hunting » Fishing » Lore and History

Founding Fish (03 Edition) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.00 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374528836 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Lauded as "a fishing classic" ("The Economist") upon its publication in hardcover, McPhee's 26th book is a braid of personal history, natural history, and American history, in descending order of volume.
"Synopsis" by ,
John McPhee's twenty-sixth book is a braid of personal history, natural history, and American history, in descending order of volume. Each spring, American shad-Alosa sapidissima-leave the ocean in hundreds of thousands and run heroic distances upriver to spawn.

McPhee--a shad fisherman himself--recounts the shad's cameo role in the lives of George Washington and Henry David Thoreau. He fishes with and visits the laboratories of famous ichthyologists; he takes instruction in the making of shad darts from a master of the art; and he cooks shad in a variety of ways, delectably explained at the end of the book. Mostly, though, he goes fishing for shad in various North American rivers, and he "fishes the same way he writes books, avidly and intensely. He wants to know everything about the fish he's after--its history, its habits, its place in the cosmos" (Bill Pride, The Denver Post). His adventures in pursuit of shad occasion the kind of writing--expert and ardent--at which he has no equal.

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