This is Pulitzer Prize-winner John McPhee's twenty-sixth book - a braid of personal history, natural history and American history.
McPhee is a shad fisherman. He waits all year for the short spring season when delicious American shad - Alosa sapidissima - leave the ocean in hundreds of thousands and run up rivers for heroic distances to spawn.
McPhee presents his obsession in bold and spirited prose, laced with humour. His research illuminates the sometimes surprising relevance of this fish and its unique appeal to imaginative historians.
His adventures in search of chad occasion the kind of writing - expert and ardent - at which he has no equal.
"... vintage John McPhee, an amused reporter's tour of the history and biology of a most unusual fish: the chad." Star Tribune
(John McPhee won a Pulitzer prize for a later work, "Annals of the Former World").
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