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Fireby Hazel Rossotti
Synopses & Reviews
There are few people today who have never kindled fire: even in this era of electricity, we take matches and cigarette lighters for granted. Some people smoke, others cook over flames or embers, burn trash, use firearms, light candles, make campfires, drive cars, or heat chemicals over a Bunsen burner. Some fireusers are the experts who work with fire: tending it in furnaces, fighting to control it in town and forest, and studying its uses and implications.
In the imaginatively illustrated Fire, Hazel Rossotti examines fire in all these settings: as a phenomenon (what it is, how it ignites), the many ways fire has been used for comfort, for cooking, for destruction, for movement, for special effects. With a lively, approachable style, Rossotti answers the questions of whether or not fire is an element. She shows how we can know when a pot was fired, and discusses the advent of fire insurance. We see why custard powder explodes, how we can reduce smog, how to extinguish a blazing oil well, and read about the reasons for fire's prominence in religion and poetry. Rossotti also discusses the mechanics of fire: how it spreads through a building, or through a forest. In addition, she looks at the hazards of fire and the ways in which humans have harnessed its destructive power for use in firearms and weapons. Here, too, are the contemplative aspects of fire: fire and the gods, fire and the thinkers.
From the scientific and technological aspects of fire, to the historical, environmental, social, religious, and philosophical, Rossotti teases out the common thread which runs through the immensely varied phenomenon we call fire to provide a comprehensive portrait that will fascinate specialists and lay readers alike.
Book News Annotation:
This volume teases out the common thread which runs through the varied phenomenon known as fire. In a lively text, and with extensive and imaginative use of illustrations, the author explores five broad themes: fire, the phenomenon; fire for comfort; fire for use; fire as a hazard; and fire for contemplation. The non-mathematical approach makes the work appealing for general readers, while specialists in particular aspects of combustion will likely find much to interest them in areas which border on their own.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. -270) and index.
About the Author
About the Author - Hazel Rossotti is Fellow and Tutor in Chemistry, St. Anne's College, Oxford, and author of Colour.
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