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on 3 May 2017
Mark Kurlansky joins the ranks of page-turner historians. His enthusiasm and grip on his subject are a joy. The story ranges from egyptian mummifying techniques, through US civil war pickling recipes to 20th Century chemistry. I have driven my family nuts with salty anecdotes and now need a hard copy of the book so I can press it upon my friends. Brilliant!
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on 4 December 2014
I read Mark Kurlansky’s biography of the cod and found many parallels here and can see why he wrote histories about both as there is a strong connection.

I learned so many things from this book without realising it – surely the sign of a supremely well written slice of history – that I had a real sense of satisfaction when I had finished it, having not only had a curious insight into a seemingly ordinary cruet, but also a different perspective of so many historical facts and events.

Surely all history would benefit from being taught from slightly off beat but more memorable perspectives. Read and enjoy.
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on 15 July 2017
Combine this with Cod, Kurlansky's other intricate history and you'll be sitting on a whole lot of knowledge. Read this to learn about what salt is and where it comes from, the culinary history of the rock and the implications salt has had on the whole world. Very readable and enjoyable, I came away feeling like I'd learnt a lot about something so trivial.
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on 22 September 2013
This is my old college motto and old salts will have no trouble translating it. It could well be the motto for this wonderful history. Today we are constantly being warned about the dangers of too much salt in the diet but few of us,I guess realise how important and necessary salt is to our health and the significant role it has played in history. Well done Mark Kurlansky for another brilliant history.
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on 31 August 2014
This is a very enjoyable history built around a product that is vital for life and had tremendous value throughout human history. The timespan covered is prehistoric through to today. The book covers patterns of trade and also some political machinations. If you are interested in history then this is a very enjoyable and informative read.
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on 14 December 2017
Great story and well told, all about how salt was produced in different parts of the world and how rulers sought to tax it.
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on 23 March 2013
This is a fascinating book in so many unexpected ways. I can see this book being one I come back to again and again for research as I am currently studying History. As another reviewer has stated, it is meticulously researched and detailed and in fact that I believe is the reason why its probably a bit longer than it needs to be and the last fifth of the book a bit confused and jumbled, hence 4 stars and not 5.
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on 16 December 2014
This book is very interesting. I read it from cover to cover with interest and am now going to offer it to a scientific friend who, I think, will be interested in it. The price was amazing and it came in quick time. Thank you very much.
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on 6 February 2014
Kurlansky's book about salt, like his book on cod, is loaded with detail. It's a shame it's not properly referenced, there's really no way of checking any of the billions of facts presented. There is a bibliography but it's not arranged in any useful way. This is a very interesting book, but I can't say that I couldn't put it down. More often it fell out of my hands after I fell asleep.
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on 10 March 2016
Although this book has a great many nuggets of information, I found it to be very heavy going. I would recommend it to people who are working on the history of food.
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