Salt: A World History
2002. First edition, first printing. A near fine copy only marked by tanning to the pages and a previous owners details to the half title page. The d/w is unclipped and fine.
Homer called salt a divine substance. Plato described it as especially dear to the gods. As Mark Kurlanksy so brilliantly relates in his world- encompassing new book, salt has shaped civilization from the beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of mankind. So valuable that it has often served as currency (and still does in places today), salt inspired the earliest trade routes across unknown oceans and the remotest deserts. Wars have been fought over salt, and while salt taxes secured empires across Europe and Asia, they have also inspired revolution -Gandhi's salt march in 1930 began the overthrow of British rule in India. Veined with colourful characters -from Li Bing, the Chinese bureaucrat who built the world's first dam in 250 BC, to Pattillo Higgins and Anthony Lucas, who drilled an east Texas salt dome in 1901 and discovered an oil reserve so large it gave birth to the age of petroleum. Salt encompasses fields as disparate as engineering, religion and food, all of which Kurlansky richly explores. Salt revenues have funded some of the greatest public works in history, including the Port of Liverpool, while salt's ability to preserve and to sustain life had made it a metaphorical symbol in all religions. Just as significantly, as Kurlansky, an award-winning food writer, relates, salt has moulded eating habits and cultures the world over. From the rural Sichuan province where the last home-made soya sauce is made, to America's oldest salt mine on Avery Island, Mark Kurlansky has produced a kaleidoscope of world history, a multilayered masterpiece that blends political, commercial, scientific, religious and culinary records into a rich and memorable tale. Mark Kurlansky is the author of Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, The Basque History of the World and the short story collection The White Man in the Tree. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. Hardback