If you have a sense of curiosity and a palate, you can’t have read Mark Kurlansky’s Cod and Salt, or his anthology of food writing, Choice Cuts, without joining his brigade of fans. The Big Oyster: New York in the World - A Molluscular History by Mark Kurlansky 320pp, Jonathan Cape, £17.99. Readers will learn how it reproduces and grows, matures and ages, where it flourishes and does not, and how it has been harvested over the years. "A compelling, highly readable treat, whether you partake of Ostreidae or not." Microhistory is a relatively recent academic approach to the study of the past that concentrates on a single, often small and limited subject, as a lens through which to illuminate a larger, more broadly defined issue. Set on a German island in 1878, perfect for fans of Water for Elephants. Mark Kurlansky | 4.22 | 3,898 ratings and reviews . From the earliest Dutch colonial settlements all the way to to the end of the 19th (20th+ including the epilogue) century, these bivalve’d delicacies have filled bellies, made fortunes, and according to Kurlansky, built the world’s most central entrepot. Author With "The Big Oyster," Mark Kurlansky serves up history at its most engrossing, entertaining, and delicious. Now 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, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled. Oysters and their export helped to publicize New York’s prominence. In Mark Kurlansky's wonderful book, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell we learn about the bivalve bounty that once existed off the shores of Manhattan. Synopsis. I was drawn to “The Big Oyster” after enjoying other Kurlansky books and while it was New York-centred and some of the references went over my head I was amazed at how the oyster; today a food for the wealthy ($18 for a dozen at my local supermarket) was once just about the most common of foods with oyster bars dotting New York streets. Find us in the Big Red Barn located at 1007 Kings Hwy, Lewes Delaware. Title Also with the loss of the oyster, the inhabitants of the city lost something of their connection to the waterways that lie so close to them. Now 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, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled. Oysters also have a literary history and have been covered by such writers as the first century b.c.e. Kurlansky recalls several anecdotes about the railroad magnet Diamond Jim Brady and his frequent companion actress Lillian Russell gorging themselves on meals at Rector’s, a New York eatery, and always beginning with a quantity of raw oysters on the half-shell. The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell is a book by Mark Kurlansky. It is elegantly written, witty, and knowing, and at the same time wonderfully entertaining. - Booklist. From The Big Oyster, the reader learns about the fashioning of America’s greatest city and also about the natural history of this bivalve and something of how history has regarded oysters and their consumption. In both books the detailed scrutiny of the microsubject, cod and salt, led him to research larger historical issues, periods, and locales. From 1976 to 1991 he worked as a  foreign correspondent for The International Herald Tribune, The ... ... Full Biography Link to Mark Kurlansky's Website, Name Pronunciation Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Thoughtfully, he has also included some three dozen recipes, most of them historical, which he has conveniently indexed in the back of the book. The big oyster : history on the half shell. The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell employs the same methodical approach and again does so through a foodstuff, this time the oyster, but restricts the locale to primarily the Hudson River estuary. Just $12 for 3 months or History on the Half Shell . QuickPrint: Addon to print lines VAT and make QuickBooks VAT compliant. $39 for a year. The New York Times Book Review 155 (March 5, 2006): 1-7. In fact, this very notion of loss is one of the reasons Kurlansky wrote the book. It follows the history of New York City and the renowned oyster beds in the Hudson River estuary. Still, by the beginning of the Civil War, New York was the oyster capital of the worldunfortunately, however, in shipping only, as the native beds were by then in decline. Like Eleanor Clark’s The Oysters of Locmariaquer (1964), for which reprint Kurlansky wrote an introduction and which his book in many ways resembles, The Big Oyster engages both the reader’s mind and senses. Get this from a library! Kurlansky likes New York City and at times offers up reasons for applauding this particular history of the oyster. Author Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of the oyster, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled. Get this from a library! This microhistorical approach gives the reader a new and different understanding of the city and its growth. Now 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, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled. Discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten. More Books, Published in USA  (Outlook Traveller, October 23, 2006) The Big Oyster Mark Kurlansky Jonathan Cape, distributed by Rupa & co, POUNDS 7.75, 307 pages . Publication Information. 57 (March 10, 2006): W4. Kurlansnky writes, "By 1880, New York was the undisputed capital of history's greatest oyster boom in its golden age, which lasted until at least 1910. Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now. The Big Oyster is the story of a city and of an international trade.Filled with cultural, social and culinary insight - as well as recipes, maps, drawings and photographs - this is history at its most engrossing, entertaining and delicious. The big country, it has been said, has a love of similarly-oversized objects. Now 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, whose … 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. The Big Oyster History on the Half Shell (eBook) : Kurlansky, Mark : Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. 'The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell,' by Mark Kurlansky Elizabeth Royte, whose most recent book is "Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash," is a frequent contributor to the Book Review. The New York Times 155 (March 1, 2006): E1-E6. It was published by Random House Trade Paperbacks and has a total of 336 pages in the book. Industrial waste and the sheer tonnage of New York’s garbage finally did them in by the early years of the twentieth century, when the relaxation of environmental standards during World War II flooded the area with toxic materials still present in the waters. The Big Oyster New York on the Half Shell (Book) : Kurlansky, Mark : Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Roman Sergius Orata and the American food writer M. F. K. Fisher, whose Consider the Oyster (1941) forms one of the five volumes that make up her famous The Art of Eating (1954). Feb 2006 eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. Subscribe to receive some of our best reviews, "beyond the book" articles, book club info, and giveaways by email. Buy The Big Oyster By Mark Kurlansky. Click here and be the first to review this book! The Big Oyster History on the Half Shell (Book) : Kurlansky, Mark : Random House, Inc.Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Kino does not want to open the oyster immediately, ... saying that the pearl is too big and no one else will buy it. “ Suffused with [Kurlansky’ s] pleasure in exploring the city across ground that hasn’ t already been covered with other writers’ footprints.”. The narrative is enlivened with the personal stories of not the usual politicians and statesmen but of those most closely associated with the growing, processing, cooking, and eating of oysters. Article Stanford Libraries' official online search tool for books, media, journals, databases, government documents and more. The Times Literary Supplement, November 10, 2006, p. 32. Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published. The Big Oyster traces the intertwined history of oysters and the city of New York. This sad and enlightening story is set against the backdrop of New York City as it rises from a modest trading post at the edge of the far-flung Dutch empire to become one of the world’s most vibrant and influential cities. Oysters used to be a cultural symbol of New York, but over time, the city pushed them to the point of extinction. Word Count: 1503. Kurlansky points out that oysters could be had for pennies from street vendors or could actually be harvested by individuals from the common beds for the evening’s meal. Booklist 102, no. ... Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. © BookBrowse LLC 1997-2020. This book also could have been called “The bivalve (Crassostrea virginica) and the city (New York),” because it is the ingenious way Kurlansky weaves the two narratives, one on the rise and fall of the oyster and the other on the rise of the city, that makes this study of particular interest. With Salt, he broadened his search and dealt with salt as a worldwide commodity and traced its gastronomical importance and economic influence through recorded history. Unfortunately, the destruction of the beds did, in the end, more harm than good, as the disappearance of the oyster beds around the estuary also contributed to the worsening of the pollution of the waters. Big Oyster Brewery, operating since 2015, brewing local craft beer made by the people for the people. Such a question might be asked of all microhistorical studies, but Kurlansky is very skillful in working his materialcod, salt, or now oystersin ways entertaining but also convincing enough to make his case. Already a member? The oysters here are a reflector of the human attitudes that both destroyed them as well as built the city, and they reflect even larger-scale values that have informed a general American ideology toward nature and the idea of progress. Is this putting too much emphasis on the little oyster to sustain such a large-scale historical analysis? Search: [Mark Kurlansky; John H Mayer] -- Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added. The book’s design is straightforwardly chronological, opening with Hudson’s discovery and the arrival of the Dutch and their early settlement of what would become Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. Now award-winning author Mark Kurlansky 320pp, Jonathan Cape, £17.99 15, 2005:... 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