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Salt: A World History

1 rating: 4.0
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1 review about Salt: A World History


  • Jul 2, 2010
This is actually one of the best "history of" books I've read in a long time. If you had any doubts as to the pivotal importance of salt throughout civilization's evolution, this book will set you straight. Salt is, as the book describes, "the only rock we eat" (well, most of us, anyway). From the most basic uses as a preservative in the days before refrigeration, to the more exotic (did you know it was used as currency and a value of a person's wealth?) - this everyday additive takes on a new dimension. Salt has even provoked and financed wars! There is nary a place on the planet that hasn't been heavily influenced by salt at one point in time or another.

My interest in salt began with my discovery of the Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow, Poland. If you've never seen this World Heritage site, Google it and prepare to be amazed by what you see. Kurlansky touches on this location in his book, along with many others. Salt has been an important component in engineering and religion, as well as culinary endeavors and deserves a place in mainstream historical reading lists. Well written, entertaining and an actual page-turner! Who'd have thunk it?

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