Coal: A Human History
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...more
Publisher: Tantor Media, 2003
Length: 7 hours and 18 min.
The fascinating, often surprising story of how a simple black rock 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...more
It's a complicated yet amazing game: Life on Earth:
A bug sat in a silver flower
thinking silver thoughts.
A bigger bug out for a walk
climbed up that silver flower stalk
and snapped the small bug down his jaws
without a pause
without a care
for all the bug's small silver thoughts.
It isn't right
it isn't fair
that big bug ate that little bug
because that little bug was there.
He also ate his underwear.
That lead her to learn more about coal - what it is, how it was formed, and its history.
Freese details how coal was critical to Britain and its role in the industrial revolution, enabling that tiny nation to defeat larger European powers with fewer coal resources, and colonize nations around the globe.
Freese, though, is not simply a coal cheerleader. She also gives us the bad...more
Which really is too bad, because the history of coal is about the triumph of human ingenuity and will over scarcity and poverty. Is it always a pretty picture? Not even close. And Ms. Freese does an excellent job portraying the miseries of children working in mines, the pollution of London, etc. etc.
But one gets the feeling that the miseries of coal are portrayed, not...more
Now, the ending was not for me. The author after giving this interesting look as what came because or from the coal revolution, she get on her soapbox about environmental issues. The history is worth 5 stars.
I and Gove were able to use this history information...more
Listen to Coal on your smartphone, notebook or desktop computer.
Her writing style is easily readable and straightforward, but tries to...more
The main problem with this book was the 30 page tangent roughly two-thirds of the way through about global warming and CO2 emissions from burning coal. Don't get me wrong - I'm all about the dangers of global warming and I appreciate the role that coal plays in it. I just wish I didn't have to have an environmental scienc...more