Other books byMark Kurlansky
Ready For a Brand New Beat
How "Dancing in the Street" Became the Anthem...
Can a song change a nation? In 1964, Marvin Gaye, record producer William “Mickey” Stevenson, and Motown songwriter Ivy Jo Hunter wrote “Dancing in the Street.” The song was recorded at Motown’s Hitsville USA Studio by Martha and the Vandellas, with lead singer Martha Reeves arranging her own vocals. Released on July 31, the song was supposed to be an upbeat dance recording—a precursor to disco, and a song about the joyousness of dance. But events overtook it, and the song became one of the icons of American pop culture. The Beatles had landed in the U.S. in early 1964. By the summer, the sixties were in full swing. The summer of 1964 was the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the beginning of the Vietnam War, the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and the lead-up to a dramatic election. As the country grew more radicalized in those few months, “Dancing in the Street” gained currency as an activist anthem. The song took on new meanings, multiple meanings, for many different groups that were all changing as the country changed. Told by the writer who is legendary for finding the big story in unlikely places, Ready for a Brand New Beat chronicles that extraordinary summer of 1964 and showcases the momentous role that a simple song about dancing played in history.
The Cod's Tale
* Accessible to middle-grade readers
[The Cod’s Tale] considers how the cod fits into human history
. Excellent ink drawings, brightened with colorful washes, illustrate incidents from the text with clarity, a flair for the dramatic, and a sense of humor.” Booklist, starred review What was it that enabled the Vikings, Christopher Columbus, and the Pilgrims to cross the cold Atlantic Ocean to America? What became a staple of the medieval diet in Europe, helped spur the American Revolution, and allowed the early New Englanders to start making money of their own? Would you believe that it was a fish? The cod! Based on Mark Kurlansky’s New York Times bestselling adult book, Cod, this picture book offers a unique look at over a thousand years of world history. Breezy, kid-friendly prose.... Fascinating and informative... bound to hook young readers.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
A World History
From the Bestselling Author of Cod and The Basque History of the World In his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Salt by Mark Kurlansky is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece. Mark Kurlansky is the author of many books including Cod, The Basque History of the World, 1968, and The Big Oyster. His newest book is Birdseye.
The Food of a Younger Land
A portrait of American food- before the...
From the New York Times bestselling author who "powerfully demonstrates the defining role food plays in history and culture" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). In the throes of the Great Depression, a make-work initiative for authors-called "America Eats"-was created by the WPA to chronicle the eating habits, traditions, and struggles of local Americans. Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt and Cod, unearths this forgotten literary treasure, chronicling a bygone era when Americans had never heard of fast food or grocery superstores. Kurlansky brings together the WPA contributions-featuring New York automats and Georgia Coca-Cola parties, Maine lobsters and Montana beaver tails-and brilliantly showcases them with authentic recipes, anecdotes, and photographs.