Reddit Reddit reviews Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

We found 26 Reddit comments about Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Historical Biographies
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
Penguin Books
Check price on Amazon

26 Reddit comments about Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World:

u/Independent · 42 pointsr/AskAnAmerican

Basque fishermen were fishing and whaling off New England and Canada from around 1500 up through the early 18thC. In his excellent book "Cod", Mark Kurlansky mentions a Mayflower log entry noting the presence of Basque fishing ships off Plymouth Rock. Yet, their story is rarely told. (For more on that check out Kurlanky's book "The Basque History of the World"

Speaking of Plymouth Rock, none of the original Plymouth Pilgrims made any mention of the rock at all. It was first mentioned in 1715 and wasn't named until 1741; 121 years after the 1620 Mayflower landing.

u/the-name · 31 pointsr/pics

You're mistaking catch size for fish size; average cod catch in Iceland has hovered a bit over 1kg (average size for a 5 year old fish). A fish that size is just as likely to be caught off the Grand Banks it's just nobody really fishes that hard for 'em there anymore; adults are way migratory.

Despite all their management their spawning biomass has plummeted since 1950 (from more than a million tons to about 150,000) and their mostly just living off the protected spawning areas there and a shift in those fishes' maturation and growth rates observed over the past 50 years or so. This is a fishery that happily and regularly pushed a fishing mortality > .8 in the years following the exclusion zone imposition. IMHO their "management" skill is likely the luck of having a yet-to-be decimated set of spawning grounds more than anything. A sort of musical chairs of collapsing stocks; they had and fought to keep theirs. It was too late for the rest of the Atlantic. Am sure Icelandic fisheries folks would disagree, though!

But Mark Kurlansky does do a wonderful job writing up all that insanity.

u/IIllIIllIIlllIIIlllI · 3 pointsr/news

Not scientific journals, and not exactly the same, but I really liked these two books about historic perspectives on our fisheries. Same author.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

First, I have a very US-centric perspective, so you may notice that in my recommendations. I'm just looking at my bookcase recommending anything I've read and enjoyed (if it's on my bookcase, I enjoyed it). I have a lot more books in boxes, so if you want more recommendations do let me know. Also, if you want more information on any of the books, feel free to ask me.


History of the World by J.M. Roberts

A Study of History by Arnold Tonybee

Greek Ways: How the Greeks Created Western Civilization by Bruce Thorton

The Story of Civilization - Will & Ariel Durant

Separated at Birth: How North Korea Became the Evil Twin by Gordon Cucullu

The Fall of Japan: The Last Blazing Weeks of World War II by William Craig

The Century of Revolution: 1603-1714 by Christopher Hill

China's Imperial Past: An Introduction to Chinese History and Culture by Charles Hucker

Middle East Patterns: Places, Peoples, and Politics by Colbert Held

Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Ian Bickerton

The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict by Walter Lagueur

A Concise History of the Crusades by Thomas Madden

The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture 1880-1950

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky

The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann

Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris

The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X

The Second World War by Winston Churchill


The World at War

Ken Burns: The Civil War

Civilisation: A Personal View

u/blatherskiter · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Salted cod. Without it as a reliable protein source, European sailors could not have traveled to America.

Source: [However, I haven't read this yet. I've only heard about it. Would be great if someone else who has read it could expand]

u/BluShine · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Food is a universal motivator. What if you had students research historical cooking? And after a week or two, you have each student bring in a recipe they've prepared from historical period/culture of their choice? And also give a presentation or write a short paper about how the food came about, or how it influence history and culture.

I've recently been trying recipes from this blog about recreating ancient Roman cuisine. Not exactly an academic source, but does cite the passages from Roman writings that inspire his exploits.

The book Salt: A World History would also be a great source, and is very easy-to-read and IMHO quite interesting. Many parts of it would make good excerpts for reading in class and introducing ideas. The same author has similar books on Cod and Oysters.

I'm no expert, I'm just stealing this idea because it's an assignment that I was given in High School, and was one of the most memorable and fun.

u/numlok · 2 pointsr/books

I'd just like to second Cod.
An excellent, informative, quick, and extremely entertaining read.

u/cgalv · 2 pointsr/SeattleWA

My source was the book Cod: The Fish That Changed the World. I'm not sure why Mark Kurlansky and Wikipedia disagree.

u/code08 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

Because it gives an uncommon view on history and shows how something super simply can effect global economics.

u/ornryactor · 2 pointsr/AskFoodHistorians

These all sound amazing. Just reading your synopses is making me genuinely excited, which is a notably rare feeling since adulting makes it nearly impossible for me to take time to read books. I'm adding all these to the top of my to-read list.

I just remembered one that I've intended to read but haven't gotten to yet: "Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World", by Mark Kurlansky. Have you read that, by any chance?

u/ticklesthemagnificen · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

I just read a short bit on this boat last night in Mark Kurlansky's Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World.

I would recommend the book.

u/danby · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Also checkout


The Cod one is a brilliant history book.

u/2_old_2B_clever · 2 pointsr/CGPGrey

I'm personally getting a lot of great recommendations who cares if Grey's assistant likes them.

[TLC: High middle ages]
Really interesting professor does a very broad overview of the changes happening in Europe during this time period.

[Unfamiliar Fishes]
( Actually most Sarah Vowell books are pretty interesting and entertaining. This one covers the time period of Hawaii from when it was a kingdom to a state, when it's soul is being fought over by missionaries, fruit companies and shipping.

[What I talk about when I talk about Running]( I'm not a runner, neither is Grey, still a really interesting reflective book.

[Cod: The biography of the fish that changed the world](
You need to read this just for the charming cod wars Iceland engages in, also a ton of history and geography.

[Stephen King: On Writing]( Very nuts and bolts book about the physical act of writing and a lot of inside baseball about the state of mind King was in while writing some of his most famous books,

u/SiriusDogStar · 2 pointsr/Nautical

I read a book over ten years ago ("Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World") and it basically said we're going to wipe the North Atlantic Cod out if we can't curb our over fishing. Its depressing to think that we can't overcome short-term greed to harvest these animals in a sustainable way.

u/---sniff--- · 1 pointr/pics

If you want to learn more about cod, I suggest the book Cod: A biography of the fish that changed the world by Mark Kurlansky.

u/HelloDoctorSweetie · 1 pointr/books

I typically don't like non-fiction but one of my actual FAVORITE books is Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
It is wonderful and an excellent, quick read.

u/Shut_Up_Paul · 1 pointr/historyteachers

I just started readingCod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World and I think it'a pretty neat. Kind of a niche topic though

u/superplatypus57 · 1 pointr/SFGiants

Huh, interesting. Have you read many other nonfiction books about soccer? I've been thinking about picking up The Ball is Round. Looks like some interesting books.

I started Cod today and it's very good.

u/AccipiterQ · 1 pointr/casualiama

The thing is I used to go there all the time, then as I got older....dude their tuna is AWFUL. I mean everything there is awful, the veggies are wilted, it's awful food.

I actually read Cod: A Biography of the fish that changed the world a few summers ago, it's a great read. I'm familiar with the sacred cod; I live in Boston :)

u/When_Ducks_Attack · 1 pointr/pics

> (Courtesy of mass migration from Italy during the 19th century

And, if you ask Mark Kurlansky, courtesy of the codfish.

u/KrankenwagenKolya · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Cod founded the new world and kept Europe alive.

u/Namika · 1 pointr/videos

I said the same thing before I read a 300 page book on the same fish..

u/BigMrJWhit · 1 pointr/Cortex

My personal favorite non-fiction books that sound incredibly boring, but are actually really interesting:

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky It's a book about salt! The history of salt, the cultural significance of salt, salt production through the ages, all about salt. It's amazing.

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky It's the history of Cod! The author spends a good portion of the book talking about how Cod is both incredibly bland and tasteless, but also how western culture loves that bland fish and all of the interesting political movements for Cod.

And for a more serious topic: Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich. This is multiple personal accounts of the Chernobyl disaster, all deeply interesting, and deeply sad. I'm only an episode into the Chernobyl HBO series, but I'm pretty sure that show is following some of characters from this book. It's a high quality book that I think is worth everyone's time, it doesn't go super in depth with the technology, just the human aspect.

u/jordanreiter · 0 pointsr/AskReddit

And the Basques. Read Cod.

u/dutchguilder2 · 0 pointsr/AskReddit