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Download Coal: A Human History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Coal: A Human History, by Barbara Freese Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (643 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Freese Narrator: Shelly Frasier Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Engrossing and sometimes stunning…[A] strongly argued and thoroughly researched book…Coal, to borrow a phrase, is king.”

    New York Times

  • “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.”

    Puiblishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John | 2/20/2014

    " What do you think about "Clean Coal"? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jessica | 2/18/2014

    " I read the book but the book option didn't have a photo. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Patrick | 2/13/2014

    " Brian, you might be coaled out, what with you reading that other tome on the subject, but this is a really fascinating book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ingrid | 2/10/2014

    " Thought it was very informational. "

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