Cod A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World PDF

10 thoughts on “Cod A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

  1. Miranda Reads Miranda Reads says:

    A bit fishyI couldn't resist Figure 1 The majestic seafaring codFigure 2 The majestic cod as us landlubbers know it Cod one of the most common fish in the sea provided food for millions What started as simple fishing boats has ballooned into enormous trawlers that were capable of draining the see of a once limitless population Invention and innovation led to decimation of the natural cod population Figure 3 A fishing trawler capable of obtaining thousands of fish in a single swoop Overall a very interesting book if not a riveting one I enjoyed following the history of cod who knew such a common fish held such a deep and dark history We traveled from cod's humble origins to the multi million dollar startups that so successfully destroyed their populationIronically nearly every chapter there was a recipe for cod They all sounded delicious If cod and haddock and other species cannot survive because man kills them something adaptable will take their place Nature the ultimate pragmatist doggedly searches for something that works But as the cockroach demonstrates what works best in nature does not always appeal to us The 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge A microhistoryYouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat mirandareads Happy Reading

  2. Matt Matt says:

    Continuing on my histories of odd things and non fiction binge I returned to another Mark Kurlansky piece that may leave some readers swimming in the other direction Kurlansky presents the cod and its importance in world history which was surely as entertaining and educational as it was uniue Many may think cod as nothing than a fish that finds its way onto the plate best served with potatoes and green peas or whatever vegetable one has on hand but there is a great deal to this creature of the water Politics and industry play such key and intertwined roles in its discovery and ongoing exploration exploitation? that the reader will surely come away with a thorough understanding of the complexity of the fish Kurlansky offers up a few interesting insights to piue the reader’s interest if nothing Rest assured a non fish eater though I am I was astounded with all that came from this piece and the impact cod has had on the world for over two thousand yearsCod have not only been fished extensively and exclusively for thousands of years but they are some of the most sought after fish for their versatile nature Well before refrigeration became an option fishermen discovered the ability to salt them which not only added a flavour but also a distinct ruggedness Allowing the fish to last that much longer it could be transported sold and stored for longer periods thereby making it highly profitable on the world market Throughout his piece Kurlansky shows just how desired salted cod became in all corners of the world But it is not only the salted fillets that prove to be a delicious treat but most every part of the fish From their livers tasting and whose oil is highly medicinal to their heads a delicious chowder without eyes and even their skin perfect for making bags and satchels cod is one of the most versatile fish on the market Kurlansky discusses at one point that there is even a use for the bones particularly amongst the ever thinking Icelandic population Cod as food is likely the easiest way the reader will consider this fish but there is so much to the discussionCod was not only a form of food on which to sup for some it was a way of life Kurlansky explores the life of a fisherman and how entire communities would rely on the bountiful cod catches that came from off the coast Kurlansky returns throughout the piece to discuss the importance of cod fishing to Newfoundland Canada New England America and much of the country of Iceland Entire livelihoods were based on enough cod coming off the boats to be sold on the open market There are many parts of the world where cod is not plentiful but it is sought after as a staple in the diet Kurlansky explores how overfishing by other countries has helped to deplete the stock of cod thereby adversely affecting the lives of huge portions of the populace This has at least in the Canadian example forced multi generational fishing families to turn to financial assistance for subsistence their pride decimated Politics abound when it comes to fishing and those who pull cod from the water are affected like no other Kurlansky does provide a captivating and chilling narrative about the politics of cod fishing One would be remiss to simply accept that cod are a food for anything that can be sold will surely have a price tag and a profit Kurlansky explores how centuries ago explorers would find their way in the open waters to take advantage of this new discovery hoping to sell it and provide a large profit margin The Basues were able to capitalise on this for centuries particularly because the were situated in a plentiful area The British Commonwealth ran likely a well oiled machine forcing colonial fishermen to send back their catches to be sold to others without the full profits making back to the original source In time other countries were able to build large boats to join the ‘game’ entering the fray and taking what they could handle However cod are not as fertile as one might think nor able to replenish as uickly as they are captured This led to a shortage of fish and a moratorium on fishing An international agreement to extend sovereign waters led to many a clash between countries only added proverbial blood to the water and turned ugly when the cod population shrunk Countries went to fish war over cod and sanctions ensued particularly a battle between Iceland and the UK in the 1970s No one was safe and entire communities as discussed above suffered the most This is likely some of the most disturbing parts of the narrative as it pulls in the seal hunt and the economic livelihood of thousands of families and is only another example of how large corporations destroyed the little man for their own greedI am the first to admit that I do not like fish though I was drawn to this piece and could not find a way to step back Kurlansky has such a way with his storytelling that the reader finds themselves in the middle of the story before realising how much time has passed Full of anecdotes and personal asides Kurlansky personalises the topic than many historians can do for actual human subjects Who would have thought that cod could be such a complex food while also being such a binding agent for small communities? Kurlansky does offer a great deal of information that the reader must digest but it is all poignant and ties together throughout the narrative I found myself relating events in early chapters on cod fishing to later discussions of wars between the governments of the UK and Iceland fitting the two topics together seamlessly With the added bonus of numerous recipes pulled from over many centuries Kurlansky ties the discussion together and permits the reader to explore the culinary side of the topic a less confrontational aspect of cod fishing While there is no doubt that cod will long be a divisive topic when it comes to mass fishing uotas between countries it is also the lifeblood for many people which is easily forgotten especially by a man on the landlocked Canadian Prairies Kurlansky breathes life into the discussion and keeps the reader thinking which can lead to talking and eventually acting on what they have come to learnKudos Mr Kurlansky for another stunning food related biography I am completely hooked and have a few of your books to explore in the not too distant future While I may not be rushing out to have cod head chowder you did get me thinking about an industry about which I know so littleLovehate the review? An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons a different sort of Book Challenge

  3. Jason Koivu Jason Koivu says:

    Are you prepared for the excitement of reading a review about a book about fish? Well strap yourselves in for a wild ride folksWhy write a book about cod? Why read it? Simple Without you probably knowing it cod has been one of the most important parts of our diets over the last thousand years Without it long distance sea exploration in medieval times the era not the ren fair would've been just about impossibleAnd now ladies and gentlemenTHE MAJESTIC CODNo?Okay it looks like thisNot very majestic but oh so importantCod is a particularly uniue fish It eats just about anything and spawns like crazy It's the frickin' rabbit of the sea A single cod well a single cod who has coupled heeheeSEX can produce millions of eggs Once full grown the cod has virtually no predators And yet we still managed to nearly fish it into extinction Though he does spend some time on the history a very interesting history indeed much of Kurlansky's book is about how man recently almost wiped the cod off the face of the earthor to be specific netted it off the bottom of the ocean Cod spends many of its pages devoted to the current crisis looking at it from the variant points of view fishermen the governments controlling the waters and the catch and the public's ravenous demand for this tasty dish Perhaps Cod won't appeal to everyone but it is written with a sense of humor gives tons of interesting facts good pub uiz fodder includes recipes interspersed through out and most importantly it's short My interest is probably stronger than most in that I was born and raised in Massachusetts where Cape Cod has been vital to our way of life Fish n chip shacks were in every little village even out in the sticks where I lived 45 minutes away from the coast is considered the sticks in Massachusetts and it feels like it trust me With the important fishing tradition of Gloucester and Maine etc so strongly engrained most New Englanders grow up thinking of cod as a synonym for fish Cod is one of those books that most readers will pass up but the few who do pick it up will be surprised at the high entertainment value and wealth of easily digestible knowledge to be obtained Okay so you didn't really need to strap yourselves in this time But you never know what's to come and hey safety first kids safety first

  4. Samantha Samantha says:

    I got stuck with this book for AP European History book report #2 I got to chose last in the class from the book list and so Cod I actually kinda liked it at the time It was short humorous at times but went a little above and beyond with the fish so that the world turned and society advanced all thanks to Cod Kinda made Cod look like God I actually suggested this book to the school librarian who was a family friend for her to read on the way to her vacation She came back and told me that it was the worst book she has ever read It was soooo boring ugh I can't believe them made you read this She retired the next year probably not because of the cod or?

  5. Eric_W Eric_W says:

    There is no way you could ever get me to eat cod despite my partial Norwegian background where they eat a variety of disgusting fish dishes the most famous being lutefisk a kind of rotten spoiled gelatinous mess But I loved this book Kurlansky is another John McPhee supplying all sorts of interesting details Turns out cod has been extremely important to civilization and almost as essential as bread It was easy to fish and preserve and probably made discovery of North America by the Vikings possible Fascinating

  6. Deborah Ideiosepius Deborah Ideiosepius says:

    A fascinating review of the history of the Atlantic cod fisheries While I knew of the stories of the Grand banks and Georges banks from my University days I doubt there is a Marine Biologist in the world who has not studied this classic case of overfishing I had never thought about the wider social implications of the collapse of this fishery and I certainly had never wondered too much about the sociological role of the animal It turns out that Gadus morhua the Atlantic cod was a major player in a whole heap of human history The Vikings cold dried it and used it to cross the ocean the Spanish discovered the New world but kept it secret because they did not want to have to share the fishing grounds in the 1500’s cod was already changing trade routes and ports were gaining prominence based on its affect All uite fascinatingThe book starts with a modern day or at least 1990’s peek at the state of the fisheries in Newfoundland and then continues on from there It is well written easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable While it tells a very polarised aspect of history it is a side that would not often be thought of; how many people have thought about Cod when they were examining the American Slave history?Interspersed through the text are recipes and historical titbits As I do not eat fish it is very unlikely I will ever try them but reading them is an added view of the historical time in which they were written and for most of the book I uite enjoyed them At the end however one encounter about forty pages worth of recipes and I might take those slowlyAside from the overdose of Cod recipes at the end I would thoroughly endorse this book I was delighted to read such an expanded story to the basic overexploitation story of the Grand banks

  7. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 375 of fiveVictorian scientists said that cod was the fish in the miracle of the loaves and fishes because there were so darn many of themYeah late to the party yet again13 years late I read this book I would swear when it came out; I recognized a few of the anecdotes and I remember the jacket design very clearly But a lot had slipped from my memory and I now wonder if I actually read it or had enough conversations about it to think I hadWell whatever if it was a re read it was a fun one I like Kurlansky's informative yet chatty style and I love the angle of view in the bookwhat's cod done for us as a species? So what? What's cod made possible in the world? The rise of an independent America The agrarian horrors of African chattel slavery The Industrial Revolution Little stuff like that was built on the white fleshed back of a formerly abundant fishI like cod Salted dried fresh frozen the tongues the cheeksit's all good as my daughter's generation says with monotonous regularity and uestionable factual basis I never once thought about Cod the deliverer from hunger until the Cod Wars of the early 1970s I remember the world reaction to Iceland going to a 200 mile fishing limit with a teenager's detached bemusement So? Little teeny place like that let 'em have it big whoop For rhetorical effect let's assume I was sitting in front of the TV eating Gorton's fish sticks at the time I said this though I spent little time with the TV and less eating fish sticks as a kidIt caused such trouble because of cod's enormous significance even now as an agribusiness output Iceland's post colonial economy was built on cod; Canada's Maritime provinces relied on it in those days and on unemployment payments from the rest of Canada now that cod's commercially extinct; Norway and the UK want all there is to have so their fisheries industries don't wither away and leave them hungry as well as sailor lessKurlansky wrote a very enjoyable read about a very important food source and industrial product I recommend it to anyone even marginally interested in the world around them to science browsers and to policy wonks of a scientific bent You won't regret it

  8. Ngolana Ngolana says:

    While one would think a book entirely devoted to codfish would enervate if not actually annoy in fact this work is a fascinating examination of the human tendency to greed as played out on a global scale This is easily eual in uality and complexity to my mind with a novel by Dostoevsky for instance It follows the trail of guilt and rapacity from early times to today's sad inadeuate harvest and is witty in to the bargain A great read

  9. Ruthie Jones Ruthie Jones says:

    Okay so I shed a tear at the end I couldn’t help it The cod’s tale is uite tragic I love history and anthropology; therefore I love this book Cod by Mark Kurlansky is interesting and fact filled and I find that presenting recipes and fun information related to the cod throughout and at the end is a nice touch and a welcome respite from the narrativeI am appalled but not surprised at the lengths to which humans will go to discover hunt exploit manipulate and wipe out a food source in this case the cod We have proven over and over that we can be exterminators and we have yet to practice moderation when it comes to commodities and satiating our desires Additionally we are tenacious in the face of change and adaptive when change is inevitableCod gives us a glimpse into the fish that continues to impact our lives in North America Europe Britain Iceland and many other lands This fish really gets aroundThis book shows us the path the cod has taken throughout history with the help of human hands ingenuity greed and death from saltingcuringdrying for consumption during long voyages to doling out a cheap nutritious meal to slaves to freezing breaded fish fillets and fish sticks The cod has been through it all and we have had the audacity to try and gobble every last oneWith my close ties to Britain I have enjoyed the traditional fish and chips many times without ever uestioning the type of fish often cod or haddock or its harrowing journey to my newspaper cone As a consumer perhaps I need to become mindfulThis biography is well written and based on the bibliography well researched“But technology never reverses itself It creates new technology to confront new sets of problems”“Nature remains focused on survival”It looks like Costco purchases wild Alaskan cod and wild Icelandic cod

  10. Alisa Alisa says:

    I enjoyed this lively little book about the history of cod What could seem like an obscure topic for a history book turned out to be an entertaining and very informative narrrative about a species of fish that has sparked war shaped international political discourse impacted diverse cultures markets and the environment The author did a good job of weaving in odd little facts within the larger discussion Seems a bit ironic that he would lamment the near extinction of the fish while simultaneously offering up cod recipes The book really focuses on the North Atlantic cod and he gives only brief mention to Pacific cod toward the end of the book The relative history focuses on the Nordic waters so it makes sense but I expected a little about the Pacific fishing dynamic In contrast with Salt A World History by the same author which I read last year the flow in Cod was much organized and overall I found it to be a better book Both books the author has a tendancy to follow a tangent in the middle of a story but he gets back to his point you have to wander with him from time to time to get there Overall well written and enjoyable Pictures and drawings are few but very helpful

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Cod A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World [Download] ➸ Cod A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World ➽ Mark Kurlansky – 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 Biography of ePUB ✓ 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 Cod A Kindle - on it and the settlement of North America was driven by it To the millions it has sustained it has been A Biography of the Fish PDF/EPUB ² a treasure precious than gold Indeed A Biography of PDF ☆ the codfish has played a fascinating and crucial role in world historyCod spans a thousand years and four continents From the Vikings who pursued the codfish across A Biography of the Fish PDF/EPUB ² the Atlantic and the enigmatic Basues who first commercialized it in medieval times to Bartholomew Gosnold who named Cape Cod in and Clarence Birdseye who founded an industry on frozen cod in the s 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 presentAnd 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 extinctionFrom 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.