9780345476395 / 0345476395

The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell


Publisher:Random House Trade Paperbacks



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About the book:

Part treatise, part miscellany, unfailingly entertaining.
The New York Times

A small pearl of a book . . . a great tale of the growth of a modern city as seen through the rise and fall of the lowly oyster.
Rocky Mountain News

Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of New York by following the trajectory of one of its most fascinating inhabitantsthe oyster.
For centuries New York was famous for this particular shellfish, which until the early 1900s played such a dominant a role in the citys life that the abundant bivalves were Gothams most celebrated export, a staple food for all classes, and a natural filtration system for the citys congested waterways.

Filled with cultural, historical, and culinary insightalong with historic recipes, maps, drawings, and photosthis dynamic narrative sweeps readers from the seventeenth-century founding of New York to the death of its oyster beds and the rise of Americas environmentalist movement, from the oyster cellars of the rough-and-tumble Five Points slums to Manhattans Gilded Age dining chambers. With The Big Oyster, Mark Kurlansky serves up history at its most engrossing, entertaining, and delicious.

Suffused with [Kurlanskys] pleasure in exploring the city across ground that hasnt already been covered with other writers footprints.
Los Angeles Times Book Review

Fascinating stuff . . . [Kurlansky] has a keen eye for odd facts and natural detail.
The Wall Street Journal

Kurlansky packs his breezy book with terrific anecdotes.
Entertainment Weekly

Magnificent . . . a towering accomplishment.
Associated Press

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