Benjamin Duffy's Reviews > Salt: A World History

Salt by Mark Kurlansky
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Dec 13, 11

bookshelves: e-books, non-fiction
Read from December 07 to 13, 2011

If I'd stopped halfway through this book, I probably would have given it two stars. It's a look into world history, seen through the lens of the salt industry over the years. It wasn't especially gripping in the early going, coming across quite a bit like a freshman-level college history text. The lack of footnotes or endnotes annoyed me as well, as I am one of those weird people who actually uses them, either to confirm accurately portrayed primary source material, or as signposts to further reading. (There is an extensive bibliography at the end of the book, it turns out, but that isn't the same thing.)

Luckily, I soldiered on, because the second half of the book was quite a bit more lively. My favorite chapter was probably the one on Gandhi which, typical of the rest of the book, used salt, specifically the Salt March, as a springboard to a short-form biography of the man in general. It was beautifully written and actually rather inspiring. Other high points include the recipes - there are probably at least two dozen old recipes here highlighting the use of salt in different cultures over the centuries, and they range from cute and endearing, to gross, to strangely delicious-sounding.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I love footnotes and hate endnotes. Who want to keep flipping to the back of the book?


message 2: by Benjamin (last edited Dec 15, 2011 11:12AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Benjamin Duffy I know, and it's even worse with an e-book. :\


message 3: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Yeah, I never really read academic stuff in e format, just look up a citation etc.


Laura Hmmm, maybe I need to go back and start with the second half! Didn't occur to me to look for an account of the Salt March in the book, though logically it had to be there.


Benjamin Duffy Laura wrote: "Hmmm, maybe I need to go back and start with the second half! Didn't occur to me to look for an account of the Salt March in the book, though logically it had to be there."

The second half is definitely more enjoyable!


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