From its single origin, to the other discoveries made because of it, fascinating tales of salt and the people who have been involved with it through the ages are interwoven here. Fifteen recipes are included that will meet with every taste. Mark Kurlansky has produced a kaleidoscope of history, a multi-layered masterpiece that blends economic, scientific, political, religious, and culinary records into a rich and memorable tale.
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©2002 Mark Kurlansky; (P)2002 New Millenium Audio, All Rights Reserved
"A piquant blend of the historic, political, commercial, scientific and culinary, the book is sure to entertain as well as educate." (Publishers Weekly)
"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)
I write my reviews under my wife Karen's account. Retired USN Russian linguist/analyst; actor; director; producer. Biography & History focus
Salt (Unabridged) delivers much more than a history of salt through the centuries...it is a history of mankind and our development seen from a unique perspective. I found this to be one of the most informative histories of Man, Culture, Myth, and Technology that I have read. Extremely readable (and listenable), conversational and compelling.
This is one of those books that just opens your eyes to something you never knew. Fascinating stories about the importance of SALT. It does not stop there. Each voyage into the importance of Salt at a particular time and place is followed by a narrative of many other important events that surrounded his original story. From Gandi to Washington. Brigham Young to the Chinese. Europe and the Vikings. Historically speaking, Salt has been as important as oil is today. Mark Kurlansky does a wonderful job of telling the story and keeping the reader entertained. There are only a few minor moments when the material gets a little dry "no pun intended", but he does not get very repetitive as I thought might be the case.
He did a great job of research and I can tell from references, a lot of work in putting this book together.
A wonderfully engrossing book! At first I thought it was a joke. (Which is why I got it...I mean come on a 13-hour book on salt!) But I could not stop listening to it. Be warned that this is not a "background book? You need to kind of pay attention at all times, as allot can happen in a few sentences. I really enjoyed the background on cultures and foods.
Section 31 Operative
If you enjoy books (and TV programs) like the "Connections" series by James Burke or are a Discovery Channel junkie, you'll enjoy this book. It is truly a cultural history of salt - possibly the most important chemical after water in human history. Highly recommended.
This is my favourite audible book that I have and I have about 30. The reader was excellent, clear and easy to understand. I was shocked and delighted by the content. I learned so incredibly much about history and the drive of history based around a single necessary resource. Did you know that a major reason that the South struggled in the Civil War was a lack of salt resources? or that the Great Wall of China was built entirely using the taxes from iron and salt? I felt that the author gave just the right amount of time to each topic and that his shifts from topic to topic were strategically placed to keep the reader interested and aware of when and where the stories were from. I loved it!
The history of Salt is fascinating no doubt and often presented in an interesting way within this book. However, audiobooks have one great disadvantage to books that are read, you can't skip sections that aren't always meant to be read. There are far too many recipes in this book that are difficult to scan through as you probably would if reading. I don't really want to hear all the details of how to make traditional German pickled cabbage and when I fast forward through these often lengthy recipes I always seem to miss things that I actually do want to hear.
Otherwise, a really interesting approach to history.
Although my wife didn't listen to this book, she learned to hate it... while I was listening to it and for weeks after, I bombarded her with all the fascinating trivia about salt that I picked up. This was mostly at meals, of course. The book is packed with interesting facts, but I wish the author had organized them better. Sometimes he takes a chronological approach, but then switches gears to a geographical approach, and then on to a culinary approach and then back to chronological. The narration could have been a little crisper. It's a light listen overall, but worth your time.
Love to read. Mysteries, history, romance, biography, current events, science, classic fiction. No vampires. No zombies. No self-help. Find me on GoodReads and BookLikes.
What more can I say about Mark Kurlansky's economic history of the world that the previous reviewers have not already said? Stop reading these reviews already and add the book to your shopping cart. You won't be sorry that you did.
If you want to know why the French government salted the bodies of suicide victims; why the English built a fourteen foot thick, ten foot high, thicket in India around salt works; or why salt has changed the course of history, politics, war, marriage and sex, then you must listen to "Salt." Truly one of the most fascinating books I have ever encountered. You'll never look at the little girl with the umbrella again in the same way. Also, absolutely first class reading by the narrator.
I will never think of history the same way again. Lots of cool, little twists on historical trends, large and small. Very engaging book.
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