Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

Front Cover
Vintage, 1999 - Cod fisheries - 294 pages
569 Reviews
"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.

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The research and readability of it is really amazing. - LibraryThing
The recipes, however, did nothing for me. - LibraryThing
This is some great writing! - LibraryThing
Easy to read with lots of little known facts. - LibraryThing
... recipes for salt cod. - LibraryThing

Review: Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

User Review  - robyn - Goodreads

I'm gonna say this is slightly hard going. It's a nice looking book; can't tell a book by its cover, but you can tell a lot by production values. Rather than being padded out with pictures, there are ... Read full review

Review: Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

User Review  - Mara S - Goodreads

Excellent book that incorporates many different facts about many different topics related to fishing and the cod industry specifically. Found this to be a great read and starting point for learning more about overfishing and fisheries policy. I look forward to reading more by Kurlansky. Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Mark Kurlansky is the author of several bestselling non-fiction titles including Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World (winner of the Glenfiddich Best Food Book Award), The Basque History of the World, Salt: A World History, 1968: The Year that Rocked the World, a short story collection The White Man in the Tree and a novel, Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue.

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