Salt: A World History
"Homer called it a divine substance. Plato described it as especially dear to the gods. As Mark Kurlansky so brilliantly relates here, 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. From the rural Sichuan province where the last home-made soya sauce is made to the Cheshire brine springs that supplied salt around the globe, 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."
"Refreshing and invigorating, full of fascinating fact" Independent on Sunday "This is an extraordinary little book, unputdownable, written in the most lyrical, flowing style which paints vivid pictures and, at the same time, punches into place hard facts that stop you dead in your tracks. A compulsive read" -- Sir Roy Strong Express on Sunday "Crisply and elegantly written - piques the appetite and sharpens the senses" Sunday Telegraph "A rich stew about every salt-influenced concoction and creation, from the first sausages and cured hams and fish sauces to the invention of parmesan, tomato ketchup and Tabasco sauce" Financial Times "An entertainingly anecdotal and lovingly partisan history." Independent
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.