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Coal : Human History (03 Edition)

by

Coal : Human History (03 Edition) Cover

 

Staff Pick

Coal generates over half of the electricity we consume yet we know little about this charred material save a few mining songs and horror stories about canaries and black lungs. In this sumptuous book we follow the black rock through time and discover its link to our past and future.
Recommended by Donna, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

The fascinating, often surprising story of how a simple black rock has altered the course of history.

Prized as "the best stone in Britain" by Roman invaders who carved jewelry out of it, coal has transformed societies, powered navies, fueled economies, and expanded frontiers. It made China a twelfth-century superpower, inspired the writing of the Communist Manifesto, and helped the northern states win the American Civil War. Yet the mundane mineral that built our global economy — and even today powers our electrical plants — has also caused death, disease, and environmental destruction. As early as 1306, King Edward I tried to ban coal (unsuccessfully) because its smoke became so obnoxious. Its recent identification as a primary cause of global warming has made it a cause célèbre of a new kind.

In this remarkable book, Barbara Freese takes us on a rich historical journey that begins three hundred million years ago and spans the globe. From the "Great Stinking Fogs" of London to the rat-infested coal mines of Pennsylvania, from the impoverished slums of Manchester to the toxic city streets of Beijing, Coal is a captivating narrative about an ordinary substance that has done extraordinary things — a simple black rock that could well determine our fate as a species.

Review:

"An interesting and revealing book on the history of coal as it affects human lives." Desert News

Review:

"An exquisite chronicle of the rise and fall of this bituminous black mineral....Part history and part environmental argument, Freese's elegant book teaches an important lesson about the interdependence of humans and their natural environment both for good and ill throughout history." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Part history and part environmental argument, Freese's elegant book teaches an important lesson about the interdependence of humans and their natural environment both for good and ill throughout history." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Freese's combination of labor and technological history is fluid and evenhanded; she is a solid inductee into the popular club of 'biographers' of materials such as salt (Mark Kurlansky) and water (Philip Ball)." Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

Review:

"[A] unique and absorbing book...Essential." Choice

Review:

"Direct and charming, full of literary allusions from Marco Polo to Dickens." The Federal Lawyer May, 2003

Review:

"[Freese] enlivens her meticulously researched history with anecdotes and surprising facts...[she] is a strong story teller who captivates with detail." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"A masterful piece of research and writing." Roanoke Times

Review:

"Engrossing and sometimes stunning... [a] strongly argued and thoroughly researched book...Coal, to borrow a phrase, is king." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Books as lucid as Freese's make a welcome contribution to the search for a sustainable energy economy." Natural History

Review:

"Concise and highly readable prose...eloquent imagery chillingly elucidates the impacts of burning coal on human health and the environment." Toronto Globe and Mail

Review:

"Ms. Freese writes her story well." Richmond Times-Dispatch

Book News Annotation:

An environmental attorney for the state of Minnesota for some 12 years, Freese acquired an interest in coal while working on a legal case involving global warming and the effect of emissions from coal-burning power plants that generate electricity. She traces the history of coal use in Britain, the U.S., and China, and examines the ongoing tension between its creative and destructive capacities, the role it has played in the urbanization, centralization, industrialization, and mechanization of the world, and the severe environmental threat it poses today. Academic but accessible to the general reader.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Prized as "the best stone in Britain" by Roman invaders who carved jewellery out of it, coal has transformed societies, powered navies, fueled economies and expanded frontiers. This text presents a narrative about an ordinary substance that has done extraordinary things.

Synopsis:

Prized as "the best stone in Britain" by Roman invaders who carved jewelry out of it, coal has transformed societies, powered navies, fueled economies, and expanded frontiers. It made China a twelfth-century superpower, inspired the writing of the Communist Manifesto, and helped the northern states win the American Civil War. Yet the mundane mineral that built our global economy — and even today powers our electrical plants — has also caused death, disease, and environmental destruction. As early as 1306, King Edward I tried to ban coal (unsuccessfully) because its smoke became so obnoxious. Its recent identification as a primary cause of global warming has made it a cause célèbre of a new kind. In this remarkable book, Barbara Freese takes us on a rich historical journey that begins three hundred million years ago and spans the globe. From the "Great Stinking Fogs" of London to the rat-infested coal mines of Pennsylvania, from the impoverished slums of Manchester to the toxic city streets of Beijing, Coal is a captivating narrative about an ordinary substance that has done extraordinary things — a simple black rock that could well determine our fate as a species.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 249-291) and index.

About the Author

An Assistant Attorney General of Minnesota for more than twelve years, Barbara Freese not only helped enforce her state's environmental laws but also became fascinated by the very substance causing the worst pollution. She lives in St. Paul.

Table of Contents

A portable climate — The best stone in Britain — Launching a revolution — Full steam ahead — A precious seed — The rise and fall of King Coal — Invisible power — A sort of black stone — A burning legacy.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780738204000
Subtitle:
A Human History
Author:
Freese, Barbara
Publisher:
Basic Books
Location:
Cambridge, MA
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Rocks & Minerals
Subject:
Natural Resources
Subject:
Coal mines and mining
Subject:
Coal
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Geology
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Coal -- Environmental aspects.
Subject:
Coal - History
Subject:
Power Resources - Fossil Fuels
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
no. 1459
Publication Date:
20030107
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.50 x 5.25 in 14.40 oz

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Geology » Mining

Coal : Human History (03 Edition) Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.00 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Perseus Books Group - English 9780738204000 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Coal generates over half of the electricity we consume yet we know little about this charred material save a few mining songs and horror stories about canaries and black lungs. In this sumptuous book we follow the black rock through time and discover its link to our past and future.

"Review" by , "An interesting and revealing book on the history of coal as it affects human lives."
"Review" by , "An exquisite chronicle of the rise and fall of this bituminous black mineral....Part history and part environmental argument, Freese's elegant book teaches an important lesson about the interdependence of humans and their natural environment both for good and ill throughout history."
"Review" by , "Part history and part environmental argument, Freese's elegant book teaches an important lesson about the interdependence of humans and their natural environment both for good and ill throughout history."
"Review" by , "Freese's combination of labor and technological history is fluid and evenhanded; she is a solid inductee into the popular club of 'biographers' of materials such as salt (Mark Kurlansky) and water (Philip Ball)."
"Review" by , "[A] unique and absorbing book...Essential."
"Review" by , "Direct and charming, full of literary allusions from Marco Polo to Dickens."
"Review" by , "[Freese] enlivens her meticulously researched history with anecdotes and surprising facts...[she] is a strong story teller who captivates with detail."
"Review" by , "A masterful piece of research and writing."
"Review" by , "Engrossing and sometimes stunning... [a] strongly argued and thoroughly researched book...Coal, to borrow a phrase, is king."
"Review" by , "Books as lucid as Freese's make a welcome contribution to the search for a sustainable energy economy."
"Review" by , "Concise and highly readable prose...eloquent imagery chillingly elucidates the impacts of burning coal on human health and the environment."
"Review" by , "Ms. Freese writes her story well."
"Synopsis" by , Prized as "the best stone in Britain" by Roman invaders who carved jewellery out of it, coal has transformed societies, powered navies, fueled economies and expanded frontiers. This text presents a narrative about an ordinary substance that has done extraordinary things.
"Synopsis" by , Prized as "the best stone in Britain" by Roman invaders who carved jewelry out of it, coal has transformed societies, powered navies, fueled economies, and expanded frontiers. It made China a twelfth-century superpower, inspired the writing of the Communist Manifesto, and helped the northern states win the American Civil War. Yet the mundane mineral that built our global economy — and even today powers our electrical plants — has also caused death, disease, and environmental destruction. As early as 1306, King Edward I tried to ban coal (unsuccessfully) because its smoke became so obnoxious. Its recent identification as a primary cause of global warming has made it a cause célèbre of a new kind. In this remarkable book, Barbara Freese takes us on a rich historical journey that begins three hundred million years ago and spans the globe. From the "Great Stinking Fogs" of London to the rat-infested coal mines of Pennsylvania, from the impoverished slums of Manchester to the toxic city streets of Beijing, Coal is a captivating narrative about an ordinary substance that has done extraordinary things — a simple black rock that could well determine our fate as a species.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 249-291) and index.
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