All the time I spent reading and subsequently writing the review of David Berger’s Razor Clams got me reminiscing about my time growing up in a commercial fishing family on the Oregon coast. The time I spent out on the water, learning the craft from my father, who learned it from his father. The feeling of a Chinook or Silver Salmon in my hands. The knowledge that what we were doing was going to enable people to have wild-caught fish to eat.
So when I was looking through the recently arrived new books, it shouldn’t be surprising that Brian Fagan’s Fishing; How the Sea Fed Civilization immediately caught my attention. Examining the history of fishing – “not as sport but as sustenance” – Professor Fagan turns his archeological expertise to examining this last significant commercial harvest of a wild source of food.