Synopses & Reviews
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 everywherein 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.
"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
"Kurlansky finds the world in a grain of salt...fascination and surprise regularly erupt from the detail." —The New York Times Book Review
This is terrific food writing; like fleur de sel, something scarce and to be savored." —San Francisco Chronicle
"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
"If you are drawn to history and curious about the origins of foods, allow Mark Kurlansky to take you on an incredible journey through the centuries by way of salt." —The Baltimore Sun
"Kurlansky does a masterful job of expanding the reader's horizons....This book of minutely researched data and history can literally make the mouth water." —The Boston Globe
offers a fascinating, often disturbing look at America's favorite recreational drug. The book is another reminder that some people will do just about anything to make money--at the expense of our health." —Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation
and Command and Control
"In his quest to understand our unique relationship with caffeine, Murray Carpenter leads us on a romp through history and tours of Colombian coffee fields, Chinese tea lounges, and a factory that pumps out synthetic caffeine for soft drinks." --Mother Jones
"The book is anything but preachy, yet along with acknowledging caffeine's benefits, Carpenter bluntly addresses its dangers, which can include anxiety, panic attacks, disrupted sleep and, if taken in large doses, even death. Caffeinated highlights not just the physiological downsides of caffeine but the problems that regulators face in trying to curb what he calls 'an industry running wild." —Scientific American
"A tenaciously researched look into the physiology, psychology and commerce of caffeine." —The New York Post
“I dont even drink coffee, but I found Caffeinated enlivening, with just the right overtones of sweet and bitter. Weaving together history, law and science, Carpenter makes a compelling case that most of us are addicted to a brilliantly marketed drug disguised as a mellow morning ritual. Fascinating, disturbing, to be savored.” —Florence Williams, author of Breasts
"As Murray Carpenter makes clear in his methodical review, our society's metrics are no match for this substance's nuances, whether among athletes, teenagers, experimental subjects or the average dependent Joe." —The New York Times
“Riding a buzz clearly generated by its subject, Murray Carpenter's Caffeinated takes readers around the world on a journey that brings humanity's favorite drug to life, in all its glory and grime. You'll never think the same way about your morning cup of coffee again.” —Mark McClusky, author of Faster, Higher, Stronger and editor in chief, Wired.com
“Carpenter sheds new light on an old standby.” —Bangor Daily News
“Caffeinated is a surprising exposé of the “caffeine industrial complex,” the industry that markets this substance in every form it can. This book compellingly argues that the health hazards of excessive caffeine intake need more attention and better regulation. Im convinced. You will be too.” —Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health, New York University, and author of What to Eat
“A readable guide to this ubiquitous but misunderstood substance." —Concord Monitor
"Carpenter's entertaining narrative dissects caffeine's circuitous route into consumer culture and its tenacious hold on the human mind and body."
"I'm not sure if Murray Carpenter's splendid book, Caffeinated, will lead you to drink more coffee, or less. But it will certainly make you think about your next cup of joe (or tea or Red Bull) in new and startling ways. Carpenter makes a mighty mountain out of a milligram, weaving together a story of history, science, lore and slick marketing in ways that offer surprising vistas at every turn."—Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum
“Carpenter…leaves no aspect of caffeine unexplored…[He] offers a glimpse of a world where the science behind the chemical fascinates as much as its history enlightens, its regulation (or lack thereof) startles, and its ubiquity in beverages, foods, and supplements disquiets…Eye-opening.”
“The world's most popular stimulant now has a book to match. A double espresso shot of java journalism, Caffeinated brews up a masterly combination of page-turning narrative with deeply researched history and news. From professional athletes to industry insiders, from the coffee plantations of Colombia to the world's largest, most secretive caffeine manufacturing plant in the hinterlands of China, Carpenter spill the beans on America's drug of choice. More eye-opening than a case of Red Bull!” —Dan Hurley, author of Smarter
“Caffeinated might be more of a jolt than your morning cup.” —Examiner.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.
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.
From the Bestselling Author of Cod and The Basque History of the World In his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky 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, Salt by Mark Kurlansky is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece. Mark Kurlansky is the author of many books including Cod, The Basque History of the World, 1968, and The Big Oyster. His newest book is Birdseye.
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 howand whybrands 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.
About the Author
MURRAY CARPENTER has reported caffeine-related stories for the New York Times, NPR, and Wired Magazine. His work has been featured in the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and other media outlets. He holds a degree in psychology from the University of Colorado and an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. He lives in Belfast, Maine.
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 Liberté, Egalité, 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