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Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed…

Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (1997)

by Mark Kurlansky (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,129433,075 (3.92)129

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English (41)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
A fascinating look at the effects through the ages of cod. Complete with recipes. ( )
  velvetpaws | Jun 15, 2014 |
Highly recommend. ( )
  marshapetry | May 23, 2014 |
I found this book very interesting and more than a little quirky. It makes you think about the way food shapes people's lives and even the fates of nations, especially centuries ago when everyone had to work hard for what they ate. This is not a book for everyone and I'm sure many readers would find it boring. But if you're into books that take an in-depth look at one topic and use it to enhance your view of the world, you will love Cod . ( )
  Athenable | Jan 10, 2014 |
Read it through to the end, but sort of boring. A fish, important to fisheman and fishing nations, they fought over it again and again, etc., etc. ( )
  stevesmits | Nov 1, 2013 |
Great historical book about humankind's history of fishing Cod. It takes us from Vikings, through the middle Ages in Europe to early North American Settlers up to present day. It shows how much of Northern Europe and North American development and wealth was initially founded on the Cod industry. Also goes into today's overfishing of Cod in New England and political battles over North Atlantic Cod fishing rights. If you like history this book is great. ( )
  TimmyP | Oct 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kurlansky, MarkAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Björkegren, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Löfgren, MikaelPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
These are the fishermen who stand sentry over the cod stocks off the headlands of North America, the fishermen who went to sea but forgot their pencil.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World with A Cod's Tale. A Cod's Tale is a much shorter, illustrated version of Cod aimed at children.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140275010, Paperback)

You probably enjoy eating codfish, but reading about them? Mark Kurlansky has written a fabulous book--well worth your time--about a fish that probably has mattered more in human history than any other. The cod helped inspire the discovery and exploration of North America. It had a profound impact upon the economic development of New England and eastern Canada from the earliest times. Today, however, overfishing is a constant threat. Kurlansky sprinkles his well-written and occasionally humorous history with interesting asides on the possible origin of the word codpiece and dozens of fish recipes. Sometimes a book on an offbeat or neglected subject really makes the grade. This is one of them.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Cod spans a thousand years and four continents. From the Vikings, who pursued the codfish across the Atlantic, and the enigmatic Basques, who first commercialized it in medieval times, to Bartholomew Gosnold, who named Cape Cod in 1602, and Clarence Birdseye, who founded an industry on frozen cod in the 1930s, Mark Kurlansky introduces the explorers, merchants, writers, chefs, and of course the fishermen, whose lives have interwoven with this prolific fish. He chronicles the fifteenth-century politics of the Hanseatic League and the cod wars of the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. He embellishes his story with gastronomic detail, blending in recipes and lore from the Middle Ages to the present. And he brings to life the cod itself: its personality, habits, extended family, and ultimately the tragedy of how the most profitable fish in history is today faced with extinction. From fishing ports in New England and Newfoundland to coastal skiffs, schooners, and factory ships across the Atlantic; from Iceland and Scandinavia to the coasts of England, Brazil, and West Africa, Mark Kurlansky tells a story that brings world history and human passions into captivating focus. The codfish. Wars have been fought over it, revolutions have been spurred by it, national diets have been based on it, economies and livelihoods have depended on it, and the settlement of North America was driven by it. To the millions it has sustained, it has been a treasure more precious than gold. Indeed, the codfish has played a fascinating and crucial role in world history.… (more)

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