My friend Michael Strening, Jr, in addition to being an awesome musician, is teaching middle school social studies this year and he told us about a book that his class was reading—Cod by Mark Kurlansky. His description, that the book was an examination of the last thousand years or so of North Atlantic history through the lens of the titular fish, was really intriguing. Especially since I've just finished listening to the BBC's podcast of A History of the World in 100 Objects, which similarly examines history through things and what they can tell us about particular peoples and times.
Cod didn't disappoint—there's the history of cod fishing itself, and then ways that that fishing interacted with other historical movements. For example, the notion that the American Revolution, for all its lofty philosophical ideals, was likely sparked by the financial independence the colonies had already achieved, fueled largely by the cod trade out of Boston. There's quite a bit about the modern state of cod fishing and the decline of cod populations due to overfishing. And sprinkled throughout are recipes for cod that really make me want to try some salt cod.
FuzzyCo grade: B+