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Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Lightby Jane Brox
Synopses & Reviews
The Fascinating Story of Our Emergence from Dark and How We Came to Inhabit Our World Built of Light
“It takes a special turn of mind to even think of writing a history of artificial light. But Jane Brox takes this curious, thin slice of history and makes of it a dazzling epic.” — Lev Grossman, Time, “Top 10 Everything of 2010”
“Ruminative and curious, Brox excels at discussing the cultural and psychological changes wrought by more and better light . . . An intriguing investigation of a state of being — well lighted — that we take utterly for granted.”— New York Times Book Review
Five hundred years ago almost everyone lived at the mercy of the night. Today, life as we know it — long evening hours and our feeling of safety — depends upon cheap, abundant light. In Brilliant, award-winning author Jane Brox offers a sweeping history of our relationship with light, from the stone lamps of the Pleistocene to the LEDs of the future. In this compelling story — imbued with human voices and startling insights — Brox also raises timely questions about how the light to come will shape our lives, and ultimately reveals that as we have changed light, light has also changed us.
“Brox succeeds brilliantly thanks to writing that rivals her subject in sparkle, glow, and wattage.” — Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
JANE BROX is the author of Clearing Land, Five Thousand Days Like This One, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Here and Nowhere Else, which received the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She lives in Maine. Visit www. janebrox.com.
A sweeping history of the human use and invention of artifical light, exploring how changes in the technology of light have affected perceptions of the world and altered the possibilities for life in it.
The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since.
Timothy Eganand#8217;s critically acclaimed account rescues this iconic chapter of American history from the shadows in a tour de force of historical reportage. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, Egan does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, and#147;the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respectand#8221; (New York Times).
In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is and#147;arguably the best nonfiction book yetand#8221; (Austin Statesman Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful cautionary tale about the dangers of trifling with nature.
In Brilliant, award-winning author Jane Brox offers a sweeping history of our transformative relationship with light—from the stone lamps of the Pleistocene to LEDs embedded in fabrics of the future—and reveals that the surprising, complex story of our illumination is also the story of our modern selves.
Just five hundred years ago almost everyone lived at the mercy of the dark, yet today so much of life as we know it—our long evening hours, our flexible working days, our feelings of safety at night—depends upon cheap, abundant light. Brox not only examines the social and environmental implications of this remarkable transformation, she tells a compelling story imbued with human voices, startling insights, and timely questions about how the light of the future will shape our lives.
About the Author
TIMOTHY EGAN is a Pulitzer Prizewinning reporter and the author of five books, most recently The Worst Hard Time, which won a National Book Award for nonfiction, and was named a New York Times Editors Choice and a New York Times Notable Book. He writes a weekly column, Outposts, for the New York Times.
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