Salt Licks and Other Civilisation Engines - November 2013

Salt Licks and Other Civilisation Engines

Big History, a New Series, Debuts on H2

By NEIL GENZLINGER 
Published: 1st November 2013
Source: The New York Times

 That is the message of two early episodes of "Big History," a 10-hour effort on H2, the History channel offshoot, to demonstrate that great events and movements of the past are linked by surprising, often surprisingly mundane, factors. 

The pilot, being broadcast on Saturday night, pinpoints salt as a major force in shaping the world we know. There is a segment on the Erie Canal, built partly to ease the distribution of salt, a vital commodity. The opening of the canal in 1825, we're told, had the side effect of turning New York City into a more important port than it already was by connecting the Great Lakes to the Hudson River. So we can blame salt for the racket of Times Square, the perpetual clog on the Belt Parkway, the multimillion-dollar price tags on tiny condos.

Read the rest of the review at The New York Times website. 

Big History is narrated by Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame) and is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD.