Birdseye by Mark Kurlansky

94%

20 Critic Reviews

Kurlansky manages to capture not only the humanity of the man who helped wield the final death blow to regionality and seasonality but also the fact that, in his era, a completely different world-view and logic dominated.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

Break out the TV dinners! From the author who gave us Cod, Salt, and other informative bestsellers, the first biography of Clarence Birdseye, the eccentric genius inventor whose fast-freezing process revolutionized the food industry and American agriculture.
 

About Mark Kurlansky

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Mark Kurlansky is an award-winning and bestselling author. His most recent book is 1968: The Year That Rocked the World.
 
Published May 8, 2012 by Anchor. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Birdseye
All: 20 | Positive: 19 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 15 2012

Yes, the frozen-food guy really was named Clarence Birdseye (1886–1956), and the story of his adventures is another satisfying dish from the remarkable menu of the author of Cod (1997), Salt (2002) and other treats.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Abigail Meisel on Jul 06 2012

“Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man” can be downed in a sitting or two, an ideal entertainment for a summer afternoon in a hammock...

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Apr 25 2012

“Birdseye” is a slight but intriguing book that raises far more questions than it answers.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Mar 12 2012

Covering the science behind Birdseye’s other inventions along with intimate details of his family life, Kurlansky skillfully weaves a fluid narrative of facts on products, packaging, and marketing into this rags-to-riches portrait of the man whose ingenuity brought revolutionary changes to 20th-century life.

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Wall Street Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Henry Allen on May 04 2012

The pleasure of Mark Kurlansky's "Birdseye" is in getting caught up in his enthusiasm for this now-outmoded persona, and watching Birdseye thrive, even revel, in the world around him despite its changes.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Christine Sismondo on Jun 04 2012

Kurlansky manages to capture not only the humanity of the man who helped wield the final death blow to regionality and seasonality but also the fact that, in his era, a completely different world-view and logic dominated.

Read Full Review of Birdseye | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Christine Sismondo on Jun 04 2012

Kurlansky manages to capture not only the humanity of the man who helped wield the final death blow to regionality and seasonality but also the fact that, in his era, a completely different world-view and logic dominated. Then, the 100-mile diet was not an enviro-philosophy but, rather, a problem to solve.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Marie Arana on Jun 08 2012

...“Birdseye” turns out to be less a biography than a glimpse into an exuberantly inventive time in America...We see a tireless tinkerer, a restless mind, a quintessentially American inventor, driven by two questions about the world around him: Why? and Why not?

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Macleans

Excellent
Reviewed by Joanne Latimer on May 23 2012

If the history of frozen food doesn’t sound fun, you’ve underestimated Kurlansky...This biography is packed with swashbuckling tales of a curious man who made a fortune betting on his own ingenuity.

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Boston.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Eric Liebetrau on May 16 2012

The author’s slim, pleasantly digressive biography highlights his subject’s strength of character and will to achieve...

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Salon

Excellent
Reviewed by Rob Merill on May 04 2011

The best parts of the book turn back the clock and make you feel what it was like before every American household had a freezer.

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BookPage

Excellent
Reviewed by Alden Mudge

Kurlansky...manages to correct many of the myths that have accreted to the Birdseye story....he offers an account of his life and accomplishments that is sympathetic, informative and eye-opening.

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Chron.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Maggie Galehouse on May 26 2012

A key ingredient in the success of Kurlansky’s biography is the mixture of Birdseye the modern man and Birdseye the throwback, who could not understand so much of contemporary society.

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Business Week

Excellent
Reviewed by Brian Gallagher on May 10 2012

Kurlansky typically begins with a single natural resource and studies its broad impact on humankind. This book flips that model on its head by studying one extraordinary man and the effect of his innovations on a host of commodities.

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Cape Ann Beacon

Excellent
Reviewed by Rae Francoeur on May 16 2012

Through interviews, examination of official records and the discovery of a treasure trove of Birdseye’s letters, what Kurlansky does is prove that the man is greater than the myth.

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Biographile

Excellent
Reviewed by Joe Muscolino on Jun 18 2012

Kurlansky's book becomes a quirky, page-turning case study of an eccentric entrepreneur and the unexpected ways he's changed our world.

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Star-Observer

Excellent
Reviewed by Dave Wood on Jul 12 2012

So what fascinates me about this book is the character of Clarence Birdseye, whom Kurlansky calls an archetypal Yankee tinkerer, the sort of inventor who develops something out of nothing but his imagination, as did Edison in his early years.

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Mountain West News

Excellent
Reviewed by Barbara Theroux on Jun 13 2012

I originally thought to use Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man, as a sidebar for a review on books about food and the food industry. But by Chapter 4, I was discovering that there was far more to Clarence Birdseye than met the eye.

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Beth Fish Reads

Good
Reviewed by Beth Fish on Jun 28 2012

As his fans have come to expect, Kurlansky has made even the most complicated of Birdseye's inventions accessible to the lay reader.

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Rooftop Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Robert on Jul 26 2012

What makes this book so worthwhile is the author’s enthusiasm for his subject. It is clear that he likes Mr. Birdseye, and through his own remarkable skill as a writer, brings all of Birdseye’s adventures to life.

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Reader Rating for Birdseye
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 34 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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