Salt: A World History

by Mark Kurlansky | Science |
ISBN: 0099281996 Global Overview for this book
Registered by bookfrogster of Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on 8/17/2013
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by bookfrogster from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, August 17, 2013
This has been sitting on my book shelf for ages, so time for it to find a new reader.

Journal Entry 2 by Apechild at Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, September 28, 2013
Bookfrogster, thank you so much for hunting me down at the uncon and passing this book over. You are so more organised than I am =)

Journal Entry 3 by Apechild at York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, August 26, 2021
Shamefully I haven't read this yet, and I've been sitting on it for so long you'd think it would have hatched into something by now. But it's my next read. It will be read!!!

Journal Entry 4 by Apechild at York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, September 2, 2021
My brain is now thoroughly salted. Really interesting history book about something so simple that you never really give it a second thought. And yet how do you make it? Where does it come from? How essential to life is it?

Kurlansky travels across the globe and hundreds, well, thousands actually, of years of human history and the pursuit of salt. The different ways people have produced it in different parts of the world, what they've been doing with it, how it has influenced what we know today as traditional regional food. How it's been a massive part of human trade, more than one civilisation has used it to raise money for the military, how it's played its role in the defeat in some wars, how it's been used as a ridiculous and crippling tax used to repress in some countries, and helped to bring about a move for independence. Although he covers "most" of the world to a greater or lesser extent, the areas really focused on are the USA, China (hey, they invented most things), Western Europe, and of course the Middle East because they do have that inland sea where things float really well =) I found the chapter on the UK interesting in particular, purely because this is where I live. I didn't realise Cheshire was the UK's salt country.

There were things I'd hope to read about that weren't in here. And some were very niche (eg salt smuggling and storage in North Yorkshire, England), or where was Aumidala? (Excuse my spelling). She was in the Nordic creation story back when there was just the giant and his cow. She'd go licking salt blocks on the beach (reminded me of him writing about herbivore animals licking rocks to get the necessary salt), and it was from said blocks that the first Gods sprang out. But then no one can cover everything.

But there are other things that I feel should have been in, although given that this is an already hefty book, again to include everything would mean it coming in volumes. It can't do everything. But Latin America only gets a couple of pages and I would have liked to have read a lot more about salt in Latin America. Sub Saharan Africa doesn't pop up that much and Australia and New Zealand... who? So although it's a world history, it has a focus on the northern hemisphere. Not that there is anything wrong with what is in the book, only that I want more.

Funny as well how salt trends are going back over and people want clumpy, rocky salt of colours of anything but white again.

Released 1 mo ago (9/17/2021 UTC) at Nether Poppleton Little Book Exchange in Poppleton , North Yorkshire United Kingdom


I left this book with several others at the Poppleton Little Book Exchange this morning (also took 3 other books away with me).

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