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  • Published: 1 March 2006
  • ISBN: 9780099478843
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $27.99

Coal

A Human History



A brilliant gem of a book on the small black stone that fuelled the industrial revolution and still powers the world. For fans of Cod and books like Guns, Germs and Steel.

Coal has transformed societies and shaped the fate of nations. It launched empires and triggered wars. Above all, it fuelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain, propelling the rise of a small rural kingdom into the greatest commercial empire in the world.

Taking us on a rich historical journey that begins on the banks of the river Tyne, Barbara Freese explores the profound role coal has played in human history and continues to play in todays world. The first half of the book is set in Britain and tells how coal transformed Britain and ushered in the industrial age. The rest of the book looks at America and China, at the birth of the unions and the closing of the mines, and at the energy industry today. With oil prices on the rise and no end in sight to our insatiable appetite for energy, the world is turning again to coal.

  • Published: 1 March 2006
  • ISBN: 9780099478843
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $27.99

About the author

Barbara Freese

Barbara Freese was Assistant District Attorney in Michigan, one of America's biggest coal producing states, for 12 years and is an expert on air pollution laws. Coal is her first book. She lives in St. Paul, Michigan with her husband and two children.

Praise for Coal

Elegant and engaging... No subject is more important for understanding the recent past and preparing for the future.

Sunday Times

Engaging and interesting, tightly documented and consistently readable. Freese makes a pasionate plea for a more considered way of treating the earth, its rescources and inhabitants.

Daily Telegraph

The incredible story of Britain's black gold.

Daily Mail

Fascinating... It lingers hauntingly in the mind.

New Statesman

I can think of no substance that has played so important a role in shaping the relative fortunes of competing economies.

David Landes, Author of The Wealth and Poverty of Nations

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