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Milk!: Book summary and reviews of Milk! by Mark Kurlansky

Milk!

A 10,000-Year Food Fracas

by Mark Kurlansky

Milk! by Mark Kurlansky X
Milk! by Mark Kurlansky
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About this book

Book Summary

Mark Kurlansky's first global food history since the bestselling Cod and Salt; the fascinating cultural, economic, and culinary story of milk and all things dairy - with recipes throughout.

According to the Greek creation myth, we are so much spilt milk; a splatter of the goddess Hera's breast milk became our galaxy, the Milky Way. But while mother's milk may be the essence of nourishment, it is the milk of other mammals that humans have cultivated ever since the domestication of animals more than 10,000 years ago, originally as a source of cheese, yogurt, kefir, and all manner of edible innovations that rendered lactose digestible, and then, when genetic mutation made some of us lactose-tolerant, milk itself.

Before the industrial revolution, it was common for families to keep dairy cows and produce their own milk. But during the nineteenth century mass production and urbanization made milk safety a leading issue of the day, with milk-borne illnesses a common cause of death. Pasteurization slowly became a legislative matter. And today milk is a test case in the most pressing issues in food politics, from industrial farming and animal rights to GMOs, the locavore movement, and advocates for raw milk, who controversially reject pasteurization.

Profoundly intertwined with human civilization, milk has a compelling and a surprisingly global story to tell, and historian Mark Kurlansky is the perfect person to tell it. Tracing the liquid's diverse history from antiquity to the present, he details its curious and crucial role in cultural evolution, religion, nutrition, politics, and economics.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Kurlansky's entertaining, fast-paced history of milk exhibits his usual knack for plumbing the depths of a single subject ... Kurlansky's charming history brims with excellent stories and great details." - Publisher's Weekly

"Cod, salt, paper, oysters, 1968, and Havana - Kurlansky always picks a singular subject, then runs with it as he provides historical and cultural context...Pour a glass and get out the cookies before reading." - Library Journal

"Kurlansky's wide-ranging curiosity makes a familiar topic seem exotic." - Booklist

"A wide-ranging history of a surprisingly controversial form of nourishment ... Chock-full of fascinating details." - Kirkus

"Mark Kurlansky, the best-selling author of Cod and Salt, traces the 10,000-year-old cultural, economic, and culinary trajectory of this dietary staple, packing in dairy-centric recipes both ancient and modern." - Modern Farmer, "Seven of the Season's Best New Books"

"As with Mark Kurlansky's Cod and Salt, I wish I had written Milk! Never would I have thought that so elementary a liquid food had such an intriguing history, one that includes science, politics, economics, and gourmandize. A great read on a great subject!" - Mimi Sheraton

This information about Milk! was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Mark Kurlansky Author Biography

© Lisa Klausner

Mark Kurlansky was born in Hartford, Connecticut.  After receiving a BA in Theater from Butler University in 1970, and refusing to serve in the military, Kurlansky worked in New York as a playwright, having a number of off-off Broadway productions, and as a playwright-in-residence at Brooklyn College. He won the 1972 Earplay award for best radio play of the year.

He worked many other jobs including as a commercial fisherman, a dock worker, a paralegal, a cook, and a pastry chef.

In the mid 1970s, unhappy with the direction New York theater was taking, he turned to journalism, an early interest – he had been an editor on his high school newspaper.  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
Mark Kurlansky: ker-LAN-ski

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