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Reviews

"An absorbing and illuminating read, Cork Wars is hard to put down. Few readers will come away without an enhanced appreciation of cork, what it does, and how it is created. Clear, concise, and vivid, Taylor's prose pulls the reader in from the first and never lets go. Anyone who likes a good story well told should read this book, especially those who like the offbeat corners of history."

"This well-researched, well-told story takes readers into a world of espionage, industrial ingenuity, and American resilience. Transporting readers back in time, Taylor turns a seemingly small subject into a compelling history with surprising breadth."

"David Taylor's Cork Wars is a marvelous history about pre-synthetic times when large cork oaks were coveted far and wide. Everything from bottle-cap factories to the container revolution and cork planting are explored with great vigor. Taylor gives a vivid slice of life from that time that speaks to ours. A landmark achievement!"

"Taylor's work unveils the little-known yet vital role cork has played throughout human history, from ancient times to the present day. His account of Nazi spying and sabotage to deprive the Allies of cork during World War II is intriguing. A revealing read on an unusual topic."

"Cork Wars doesn't just illuminate a critical element of the World War II economy: it reveals the surprising ways that war reshapes lives. Whether he's writing about Baltimore immigrants or globetrotting spies, David Taylor fills his story with emotion and intrigue. It’s richly researched history, delivered with a novelist's heart."

"The humble cork that lines our pry-off bottle caps has unique qualities that also make it a key ingredient in engines and other machinery. Control of its supply is a prize in peace, a necessity in war. Taylor weaves this reality into an exciting true narrative of spies, intrigue, submarine warfare, soldiers, sailors, tree farmers, and assembly line workers, all caught up in history and skillfully shown in their individuality. Cork Wars is a tale you won't want to miss."

"Drawing upon deep research and deft storytelling, David A. Taylor builds a compelling narrative. Cork Wars captures the drama of three families whose lives are bound up with a precious forest product—and the urgency of war."

"Immigrants, spies, and businessmen populate David Taylor's fascinating history of the important role that cork played in World War II. Next time you hold a wine cork in your hand, it'll be hard not to think of a Baltimore factory and a story stretching from Maryland and California to Portugal and Morocco."