Salt: A World History
From the award-winning and bestselling author of Cod comes the dramatic, human story of a simple substance, an element almost as vital as water, that has created fortunes, provoked revolutions, directed economies and enlivened our recipes.
Salt is common, easy to obtain and inexpensive. It is the stuff of kitchens and cooking. Yet trade routes were established, alliances built and empires secured – all for something that filled the oceans, bubbled up from springs, formed crusts in lake beds, and thickly veined a large part of the Earth’s rock fairly close to the surface. From pre-history until just a century ago – when the mysteries of salt were revealed by modern chemistry and geology – no one knew that salt was virtually everywhere. Accordingly, it was one of the most sought-after commodities in human history. Even today, salt is a major industry. Canada, Kurlansky tells us, is the world’s sixth largest salt producer, with salt works in Ontario playing a major role in satisfying the Americans’ insatiable demand.
As he did in his highly acclaimed Cod, Mark Kurlansky once again illuminates the big picture by focusing on one seemingly modest detail. In the process, the world is revealed as never before.
From the Hardcover edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - DarthDeverell - LibraryThing
Much like Mark Felt's advice to Woodward and Bernstein to "follow the money," Mark Kurlansky follows the salt wherever it may lead. Salt: A World History is truly global in its scope, traveling from ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing
A fascinating study of salt throughout human history. I really appreciate that Kurlansky did not forget about the non-Western world in writing about this book (although there is rather more about ... Read full review
PARTONEA Discourse onSalt Cadavers andPungent Sauces