New. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Brand New, Perfect Condition. We offer expedited shipping to all US locations. Over 3, 000, 000 happy customers. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 307 p. Contains: Illustrations.
New. Signed by author. Tight binding with clean text. New. Signed by author on title page. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 307 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. "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 inhabitants-the oyster. For centuries New York was famous for this particular shellfish, which until the early 1900s played such a dominant a role in the city's life that the abundant bivalves were Gotham's most celebrated export, a staple food for all classes, and a natural filtration system for the city's congested waterways. Filled with cultural, historical, and culinary insight-along with historic recipes, maps, drawings, and photos-this dynamic narrative sweeps readers from the seventeenth-century founding of New York to the death of its oyster beds and the rise of America's environmentalist movement, from the oyster cellars of the rough-and-tumble Five Points slums to Manhattan's Gilded Age dining chambers. With "The Big Oyster, " Mark Kurlansky serves up history at its most engrossing, entertaining, and delicious. "Suffused with [Kurlansky's] pleasure in exploring the city across ground that hasn't 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 "
Publishers Weekly, 2005-09-26 Here's a chatty, free-wheeling history of New York City told from the humble perspective of the once copious, eagerly consumed, now decimated eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginicas). Research addict Kurlansky (Cod, etc.) starts from the earliest evidence of Lenape oyster middens, or beds, discovered by explorer Henry Hudson and others as evidence that natives enjoyed the shellfish as a delicacy, much as the Europeans did. When the Dutch arrived, the estuary of the lower Hudson, with its rich confluence of rivers, contained 350 square miles of oyster beds-"fully half of the world's oysters." The huge oyster stores contributed mightily to the mercantile wealth and natural renown of New Amsterdam, then inherited by the British, who were crazy about oysters; pickled oysters became an important trade with British West Indies slave plantations. While cheap, oysters appealed equally to the rich and poor, prompting famous establishments such as black-owned Downing's oyster cellar and Delmonico's (the enterprising author handily supplies historic recipes). The exhaustion of the city's oyster beds and pollution by sewage effectively eclipsed the consumption of local oysters by the 1920s, yet the lowly oyster still promotes the health of the waterways by its natural filtering system as well as indicating the purity of the water. Kurlansky's history digresses all over the place, and sparkles. Agent, Charlotte Sheedy. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2006-04-03 Who knew that New York City was once the oyster capital of the world, and that at one time it held half of the earth's supply, harvesting 700 million in 1880 alone? Or that oysters were not just a delicacy for aristocrats but also affordable, cheap even, sustenance for working folk. Tom Stechschulte's pairing with Kurlansky's (Salt, Cod) ode to the heyday of the Crassostrea virginicas (the eastern oyster) is a dead-on perfect match. With an authoritative yet amiable tone and sounding very much like Gene Hackman, Stechschulte delivers the information in as calm and instructive, yet wholly engaging way. The Big Oyster is a cautionary tale of man's nature, which lays waste to any exploitable resource, with conservation always a tardy afterthought. Stechschulte's fine reading entertains while educating about how New York City, once known for its oysters and concretely connected to the sea, slowly becomes an island unto itself, losing its connection to its surrounding waterways completely and, along the way, lost some of its unique identity to the name of progress. Simultaneous release with the Ballantine hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 26, 2005). (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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