American Tuna  The Rise and Fall of an Improbable Food4stars



Historic Account of Tuna Fishing in America

By Andrew F. Smith

University of California Press 34.95 242 pages

Based on exhaustive, primarily literature research,  American Tuna is a reference book for libraries but also for those interested in the history of commercial tuna fishing in America. Andrew Smith is a researcher/writer in food-related subjects and he has done a formidable job on this book. Yet it is not for most readers. The text is overflowing with historical dates, stories, quotes, and information mostly about the facts of commercial tuna fishing, also about sport fishing. The book gives a little too much information for the average reader, and the text tends to be a bit dry and hard to read, especially having no illustrations. Yet the author broke up the chapters into short subheadings to make reading easier.

“Today the United States consumes 29 percent of the canned tuna produced worldwide, and virtually all is imported.”

Besides commercial tuna fishing history in America, you will find plenty of related subjects: politics, economics, concerns about safety of eating fish, and even science. The book ends with three sections: twenty-seven historical recipes, thirty-six pages of notes (in reality, references), and fifteen pages of bibliography making this book a truly scientific, though highly specialized textbook.

Reviewed By George Erdosh

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