Intended as a simple book for younger readers, it has a great fault in that it is superficial and vague to the point of meaninglessness. For example, ""salt was used to refine metals,"" with no explanation of what this means. The writing jumps confusingly back and forth through time, and offers the odd juxtaposition of the story of Lot's wife to salt as a symbol of purity. The paragraph fully describing the Cellini salt cellar in a section titled ""Laws and Wars"" turns out in this case to be a closing point in etiquette. While the fragmented emphasis seems to be the effect of salt on society, there is not adequate coverage of its vital importance in sustaining life itself or of contemporary salt production. There are sections relating to the early collection of salt and to salt in the New World, sprinkled with miscellaneous facts.