The Philosopher Fish by Richard Adams Carey
Sturgeon, Caviar, and the Geography of Desire

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A fascinating chronicle of a fast-disappearing fish and of the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on it Since the days of the Persian Empire, caviar has trumpeted status, wealth, prestige, and sex appeal. Today it goes for up to one hundred dollars an ounce, and aficionados will go to extraordinary lengths to get their fill of it. According to acclaimed writer Richard Adams Carey, that's just the problem. In this spectacular jaunt, Carey immerses himself in the world of sturgeon, the fish that lays these golden eggs. What he finds is disturbing: Sturgeon populations worldwide have declined 70 percent in the last twenty years, most drastically in the Caspian Sea. The beluga sturgeon, producer of the most coveted caviar, has climbed to number four on the World Wildlife Fund's most-endangered species list. Armed with a novelist's eye for human eccentricity and an investigator's nose for trouble, Carey takes us on an illuminating journey across the globe to uncover the secrets of the sturgeon. On that trek we meet the fascinating real-life characters both profiting from its scarcity and fighting to save it. A high-stakes cocktail of business, diplomacy, technology, and espionage, The Philosopher Fish is, at its heart, the epic story of a 250-million-year-old fish struggling to survive.

About Richard Adams Carey

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Richard Adams Carey was born in Connecticut and educated at Harvard College. After his graduation, in 1973, he went to work in a northwestern sawmill, and he has since divided his time between Alaska and New England.
Published February 9, 2005 by Counterpoint. 352 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Science & Math, History, Sports & Outdoors, Cooking. Non-fiction

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Caviar dates to at least the 13th century, when a Mogol king dined on the eggs at a monastery, though in medieval Russia caviar was not a luxury—even peasants ate the “blackberry jam of tiny globes.” By the late 19th century, the taste for roe had spread to Germany, France, and the US, where it q...

Mar 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The Philosopher Fish: Sturgeo...

Publishers Weekly

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The interconnected stories Carey shares converge in a deeper understanding of the human species, one whose desires are embodied as much by the gun-toting buccaneers of the Caspian coast as by the rain-slickered and lab-coated ranks of the world's sturgeon hatcheries.

Jan 31 2005 | Read Full Review of The Philosopher Fish: Sturgeo...

Entertainment Weekly

A long-snouted, curious creature whose population is quickly dwindling, the sturgeon is an unlikely candidate for the title International Fish of Mystery.

Feb 28 2005 | Read Full Review of The Philosopher Fish: Sturgeo...

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