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The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell

by

The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell Cover

 

Staff Pick

Mark Kurlansky is King of the microhistory. Much like his previous books  Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World and Salt: A World History, The Big Oyster goes way beyond the usual scope of food history, this time detailing the oyster's broader influence on the development of New York. A fascinating glimpse into both the city and the bivalve, this richly detailed gem is engrossing to the end.
Recommended by Michal D., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Now award-winning author Mark Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of New York by following the trajectory of one of its most fascinating inhabitants-the oyster, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled. <BR>For centuries New York was famous for its oysters, which until the early 1900s played such a dominant a role in the city's economy, gastronomy, and ecology that the abundant bivalves were Gotham's most celebrated export, a staple food for the wealthy, the poor, and tourists alike, and the primary natural defense against pollution for the city's congested waterways. <BR>Filled with cultural, historical, and culinary insight-along with historic recipes, maps, drawings, and photos-this dynamic narrative sweeps readers from the island hunting ground of the Lenape Indians to the death of the oyster beds and the rise of America's environmentalist movement, from the oyster cellars of the rough-and-tumble Five Points slums to Manhattan's Gilded Age dining chambers. <BR>Kurlansky brings characters vividly to life while recounting dramatic incidents that changed the course of New York history. Here are the stories behind Peter Stuyvesant's peg leg and Robert Fulton's "Folly"; the oyster merchant and pioneering African American leader Thomas Downing; the birth of the business lunch at Delmonico's; early feminist Fanny Fern, one of the highest-paid newspaper writers in the city; even "Diamond" Jim Brady, who we discover was not the gourmand of popular legend. <BR>With The Big Oyster, Mark Kurlansky serves up history at its most engrossing, entertaining, and delicious. <P>"From the Hardcoveredition."

Synopsis:

Drew Smithandrsquo;s Oyster: A Gastronomic History offers readers a global view of the oyster, tracing its role in cooking, art, literature, and politics from the dawn of time to the present day. Oysters have inspired chefs, painters, and writers alike, have sustained communities financially and ecologically, and have loomed large in legend and history. Using the oyster as the central theme, Smith has organized the book around time periods and geographical locations, looking at the oysterandrsquo;s influence through colorful anecdotes, eye-opening scientific facts, and a wide array of visuals. The book also includes fifty recipesandmdash;traditional country dishes and contemporary examples from some of the best restaurants in the world. Renowned French chef Raymond Blanc calls Oyster andldquo;a brilliant crusade for the oyster that shows how food has shaped our history, art, literature, law-making, culture, and of course love-making and cuisine.andrdquo;

About the Author

Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling and James A. Beard Award&#8212;winning author of Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, Salt: A World History, 1968: The Year That Rocked the World, and The Basque History of the World, as well as Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue (his debut novel), and several other books. He lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345476395
Subtitle:
A Gastronomic History (with Recipes)
Author:
Kurlansky, Mark
Author:
Smith, Drew
Publisher:
Abrams
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Specific Ingredients - Seafood
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
Oysters
Subject:
New york (state)
Subject:
Cookery (Oysters)
Subject:
Oysters - New York (State) - New York
Subject:
General History
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
history;food;new york;non-fiction;oysters;new york city;food history;oyster;seafood;ecology;american;cooking;environment;nature;science;usa;culture;microhistory;fish;natural history
Subject:
history;food;new york;non-fiction;oysters;new york city;food history;seafood;oyster;ecology;american;environment;cooking;nature;fish;usa;culture;natural history;microhistory;science
Subject:
History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover, Paper o/boards
Publication Date:
20151006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
100 color and black-and-white illustrati
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.75 x 6.5 in

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » By Ingredient » Fish and Seafood
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
History and Social Science » Americana » New England and Mid Atlantic
History and Social Science » Americana » New York
History and Social Science » Americana » Northeast
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Random House Trade - English 9780345476395 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Mark Kurlansky is King of the microhistory. Much like his previous books  Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World and Salt: A World History, The Big Oyster goes way beyond the usual scope of food history, this time detailing the oyster's broader influence on the development of New York. A fascinating glimpse into both the city and the bivalve, this richly detailed gem is engrossing to the end.

"Synopsis" by ,
Drew Smithandrsquo;s Oyster: A Gastronomic History offers readers a global view of the oyster, tracing its role in cooking, art, literature, and politics from the dawn of time to the present day. Oysters have inspired chefs, painters, and writers alike, have sustained communities financially and ecologically, and have loomed large in legend and history. Using the oyster as the central theme, Smith has organized the book around time periods and geographical locations, looking at the oysterandrsquo;s influence through colorful anecdotes, eye-opening scientific facts, and a wide array of visuals. The book also includes fifty recipesandmdash;traditional country dishes and contemporary examples from some of the best restaurants in the world. Renowned French chef Raymond Blanc calls Oyster andldquo;a brilliant crusade for the oyster that shows how food has shaped our history, art, literature, law-making, culture, and of course love-making and cuisine.andrdquo;
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