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Mark Kurlansky - Author

About the Author

Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of Cod, Salt, The Basque History of the World, 1968, The Big Oyster, and The Eastern Stars, among many other books.

Featured books by Mark Kurlansky

What? Are These Really the Twenty Most Important Questions in Human History?

What? Are These Really the Twenty Most Important Questions in Human History?

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/06/2011

Kurlansky considers the work of Confucius, Plato, Shakespeare, Descartes, Nietzsche, Freud, Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, the Talmud, Charles de Gaulle, Virginia Woolf, and others, distilling the deep questions of life to their sparkling essence.

ebook of the month

Other books by Mark Kurlansky

Salmon

Salmon

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

Most of what we do on land ends up impacting the ocean, but never is that clearer than when we look at salmon. Centuries of our greatest assaults on nature, from overfishing to dams, from hatcheries to fish farms, from industrial pollution to the ravages of climate change, can be seen in their harrowing yet awe-inspiring life cycle. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, through Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, Japan and Siberia, Mark Kurlansky traces the history of the world through his fish-eye lens, laying bare our misdirected attempts to manipulate salmon for our own benefit. Attempts that have had a devastating impact on both fish and earth. Now, the only way to save salmon is to save the planet, and the only way to save the planet may be to save the salmon.

Edible Stories

Edible Stories

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/06/2020

Robert Eggle finds himself standing one day in a hole in the sidewalk, rain plastering his clothes to his body, with no memory of who he is, his former life as a food critic, how he got there, or where he should go next. Trying desperately not to be unknowing to people who seem to recognize him including his wife Margaret, he has to survive by holding on to what he tastes. He finds his preoccupations narrowed down to his loss of taste, and the puzzling gastronomic tales people regale him with. Why is it important not to be too gourmetA ? And what is the real purpose behind red sea salt? There is his ex-wife Margaret, who becomes the unwilling obsession of a man from Papa New Guinea with an unusual appetite, and Emma, his neurotic fan who sees a conspiracy in creme brulees. In this world where love is celebrated with peppered, slow-cooked menudo, and where friendships are forged over fat-free muffins, Edible StoriesA serves up a delectable tale of quirky individuals whose lives intersect in amusing, poignant, and surprisingly thrilling with a man who remembers nothing but the texture of the food he has eaten.

Milk

Milk

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

Mark Kurlansky's first global food history since the bestselling Cod and Salt; the fascinating cultural, economic and culinary story of milk and all things dairy - with recipes throughout While mother's milk may be the essence of nourishment, it is the milk of other mammals that humans have cultivated ever since the domestication of animals more than 10,000 years ago. Today, milk is a test case in the most pressing issues in food politics, from industrial farming and animal rights to GMOs, the locavore movement and advocates for raw milk, who controversially reject pasteurisation. Profoundly intertwined with human civilisation, milk has a compelling and surprisingly global story to tell, and historian Mark Kurlansky is the perfect person to tell it. Tracing the liquid's diverse history from antiquity to the present, he details its curious and crucial role in cultural evolution, religion, nutrition, politics, and economics.

Milk!

Milk!

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/08/2018

Havana

Havana

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2018

Paper

Paper

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/05/2017

For the past two millennia, the ability to produce paper in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce and art. It has created civilisations, fostering the fomenting of revolutions and the stabilising of regimes. Now, on the cusp of going paperless , Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology's influence, affirming that paper is here to stay.

Paper

Paper

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/05/2016

Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce and art. It has created civilisations, fostering the fomenting of revolutions and the stabilising of regimes. History's greatest press run produced 6.5 billion copies of Mao zhu xi yu lu, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Zedong) and Leonardo da Vinci left behind only 15 paintings but 4,000 works on paper. Now, on the cusp of going paperless -and amid speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society-we've come to a world-historic juncture to examine what paper means to civilisation. Through tracing paper's evolution, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology's influence, affirming that paper is here to stay. Paper will be the history that guides us forward in the twenty-first century.

City Beasts

City Beasts

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/03/2015

International Night A Father and Daughter Cook Their Way Around the World Including More Than 250 Recipes

International Night A Father and Daughter Cook Their Way Around the World Including More Than 250 Recipes

Author: Mark Kurlansky, Talia Kurlansky Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/10/2014

Once a week in the Kurlansky home, Mark spins a globe and wherever his daughter's finger lands becomes the theme of that Friday night's dinner. Their tradition of International Night has afforded Mark an opportunity to share with his daughter, Talia--and now the readers of International Night--the recipes, stories, and insights he's collected over more than thirty years of traveling the world writing about food, culture, and history, and his charming pen-and-ink drawings, which appear throughout the book.International Night is brimming with recipes for fifty-two special meals--appetizers, a main course, side dishes, and dessert for each--one for every week of the year. Some are old favorites from Mark's repertoire, and others gleaned from research. Always, they are his own version, drawn from techniques he learned as a professional chef and from many years of talking to chefs, producers, and household cooks around the world. Despite these insights, every recipe is designed to be carried out--easily--by any amateur chef, and they are designed to be completed with the assistance of children.Mark and Talia invite you and your family into their kitchen, outfitted with overflowing packets of exotic spices and aromas of delicacies from Tanzania and Kazakhstan to Cuba and Norway. From there, recipes and toothsome morsels of cultural and historical information will fill your bellies and your minds, and transport you to countries all around the world.

ebook of the month
Birdseye

Birdseye

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/02/2013

Birdseye

Birdseye

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: eBook Release Date: 08/05/2012

Break out the TV dinners! From the author who gave us Cod, Salt, and other informative bestsellers, the first biography of Clarence Birdseye, the eccentric genius inventor whose fast-freezing process revolutionized the food industry and American agriculture.

Hank Greenberg

Hank Greenberg

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2011

From the prizewinning Jewish Lives series, the remarkable life story of the first Jewish superstar athlete, by New York Times best-selling author Mark Kurlansky One of the reasons baseball fans so love the sport is that it involves certain physical acts of beauty. And one of the most beautiful sights in the history of baseball was Hank Greenberg's swing. His calmly poised body seemed to have some special set of springs with a trigger release that snapped his arms and swept the bat through the air with the clean speed and strength of a propeller. But what is even more extraordinary than his grace and his power is that in Detroit of 1934, his swing-or its absence-became entwined with American Jewish history. Though Hank Greenberg was one of the first players to challenge Babe Ruth's single-season record of sixty home runs, it was the game Greenberg did not play for which he is best remembered. With his decision to sit out a 1934 game between his Tigers and the New York Yankees because it fell on Yom Kippur, Hank Greenberg became a hero to Jews throughout America. Yet, as Kurlansky writes, he was the quintessential secular Jew, and to celebrate him for his loyalty to religious observance is to ignore who this man was. In Hank Greenberg Mark Kurlansky explores the truth behind the slugger's legend: his Bronx boyhood, his spectacular discipline as an aspiring ballplayer, the complexity of his decision not to play on Yom Kippur, and the cultural context of virulent anti-Semitism in which his career played out. What Kurlansky discovers is a man of immense dignity and restraint with a passion for sport who became a great reader-a man, too, who was an inspiration to the young Jackie Robinson, who said, Class tells. It sticks out all over Mr. Greenberg. About Jewish Lives: Jewish Lives is a prizewinning series of interpretative biography designed to explore the many facets of Jewish identity. Individual volumes illuminate the imprint of Jewish figures upon literature, religion, philosophy, politics, cultural and economic life, and the arts and sciences. Subjects are paired with authors to elicit lively, deeply informed books that explore the range and depth of the Jewish experience from antiquity to the present. In 2014, the Jewish Book Council named Jewish Lives the winner of its Jewish Book of the Year Award, the first series ever to receive this award. More praise for Jewish Lives: Excellent -New York Times Exemplary -Wall Street Journal Distinguished -New Yorker Superb -The Guardian

Hank Greenberg

Hank Greenberg

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: eBook Release Date: 29/03/2011

One of the reasons baseball fans so love the sport is that it involves certain physical acts of beauty. And one of the most beautiful sights in the history of baseball was Hank Greenberg's swing. His calmly poised body seemed to have some special set of springs with a trigger release that snapped his arms and swept the bat through the air with the clean speed and strength of a propeller. But what is even more extraordinary than his grace and his power is that in Detroit of 1934, his swingor its absencebecame entwined with American Jewish history. Though Hank Greenberg was one of the first players to challenge Babe Ruth's single-season record of sixty home runs, it was the game Greenberg did not play for which he is best remembered. With his decision to sit out a 1934 game between his Tigers and the New York Yankees because it fell on Yom Kippur, Hank Greenberg became a hero to Jews throughout America. Yet, as Kurlansky writes, he was the quintessential secular Jew, and to celebrate him for his loyalty to religious observance is to ignore who this man was.In Hank Greenberg Mark Kurlansky explores the truth behind the slugger's legend: his Bronx boyhood, his spectacular discipline as an aspiring ballplayer, the complexity of his decision not to play on Yom Kippur, and the cultural context of virulent anti-Semitism in which his career played out.What Kurlansky discovers is a man of immense dignity and restraint with a passion for sport who became a great readera man, too, who was an inspiration to the young Jackie Robinson, whosaid, "e;Class tells. It sticks out all over Mr. Greenberg."e;

Last Fish Tale

Last Fish Tale

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: eBook Release Date: 03/06/2008

Fishing at sea, an ancient trade and a way of life that has defined coastal towns throughout history, may be coming to an end. The culture and traditions of coastal Britain and of seagoing nations everywhere are now threatened with extinction. Celebrated author Mark Kurlansky explores the fate of our oceans and the decline of our most ancient coastal enterprise. The book sends up a timely distress flare, one that brilliantly illuminates a colorful, exuberant, and poignant landscape, from Newlyn in Cornwall to Gloucester in Massachusetts. The result is a cultural, economic, environmental, and culinary bouillabaisse, the most compelling fish tale of our time.

Nonviolence

Nonviolence

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2007

The conventional history of nations, even continents, is a history of warfare. According to this view, all the important ideas and significant changes of humankind occured as part of an effort to win one violent, bloody conflict or another. But there have always been a few who refused to fight. Following the grand sweep of history from Confucius to Tolstoy, Erasmus to Gandhi, bestselling author Mark Kurlansky traces pacifism and its proponents to show how many modern ideas, a united Europe, the United Nations, and the abolition of slavery - originated in non-violence movements.

The Big Oyster

The Big Oyster

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2007

When Peter Minuit bought Manhattan for $24 in 1626 he showed his shrewdness by also buying the oyster beds off tiny, nearby Oyster Island, renamed Ellis Island in 1770. From the Minuit purchase until pollution finally destroyed the beds in the 1920s, New York was a city known for its oysters, especially in the late 1800s, when Europe and America enjoyed a decades-long oyster craze. In a dubious endorsement, William Makepeace Thackeray said that eating a New York oyster was like eating a baby. Travellers to New York were also keen to experience the famous New York oyster houses. While some were known for their elegance, due to a longstanding belief in the aphrodisiac quality of oysters, they were often associated with prostitution. In 1842, when the novelist Charles Dickens arrived in New York, he could not conceal his eagerness to find and experience the fabled oyster cellars of New York City's slums. The Big Oyster is the story of a city and of an international trade.Filled with cultural, social and culinary insight - as well as recipes, maps, drawings and photographs - this is history at its most engrossing, entertaining and delicious.