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Download Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World Audiobook, by Tom Zoellner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (543 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom Zoellner Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781400180325
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Uranium is a common element in the earth's crust and the only naturally occurring mineral with the power to end all life on the planet. After World War II, it reshaped the global order-whoever could master uranium could master the world. Marie Curie gave us hope that uranium would be a miracle panacea, but the Manhattan Project gave us reason to believe that civilization would end with apocalypse. Slave labor camps in Africa and Eastern Europe were built around mine shafts, and America would knowingly send more than 600 uranium miners to their graves in the name of national security. Fortunes have been made from this yellow dirt; massive energy grids have been run from it. Fear of it panicked the American people into supporting a questionable war with Iraq, and its specter threatens to create another conflict in Iran. Now, some are hoping it can help avoid a global warming catastrophe. In Uranium, Tom Zoellner takes readers around the globe in this intriguing look at the mineral that can sustain life or destroy it. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • [Listeners] will be engaged by this story of the most powerful source of energy the earth can yield. Library Journal
  • “Zoellner examines how uranium has helped shape our recent history and could determine our future. His lively prose carries the reader through physics and history lessons alike, never failing to remind us what’s at stake when it comes to uranium…Zoellner vividly conveys both the potential benefits and the harm that uranium holds for human civilization.”

    Washington Post

  • “[A] fine piece of journalism…[Zoellner] delves into the complex science, politics, and history of this radioactive mineral, which presents the best and worst of mankind…He superbly paints vivid pictures of uranium’s impact.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Patrick Lawlor applies just the right tone of aplomb to this examination of science and politics…Lawlor’s performance grows on the listener. His enthusiasm keeps the listener engaged…He also has a talent for accents that adds interesting nuances to his performance.”

    Audiofile

  • “Alive with devious personalities, Zoellner’s narrative ultimately exposes the frightening vulnerability of a world with too many sources of a dangerous substance and too little wisdom to control it. A riveting journey into perilous terrain.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A | 2/12/2014

    " This book is good, however, it kind of skips around a bit. It talks of the history and a bit of science behind uranium, as well as the social and economic impacts uranium can have on different populations. Very interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Camille Mccarthy | 1/26/2014

    " I liked the premise of this book very much- it tried to look at Uranium's affect on the world from a global point of view, going through its discovery, the various periods of history which involved it, its benefits to humanity and its disastrous capabilities. This was a very broad scope and I felt at times that the book could have used more editing since the author often gets sidetracked by little tidbits of information he's found along the way and includes them at times when he probably should have focused more on his main points. He does make a lot of good points but sometimes they are buried in a lot of other information that isn't really necessary. In all this book was very interesting for anyone who wants to know more about uranium, nuclear energy, weapons politics, and mining practices in a variety of countries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Saul | 12/20/2013

    " it wasn't as detailed as i expected it to be, however the author probably tried his best "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik Nygaard | 11/10/2013

    " I would feel like a total nerd if I had bought this book. But I finished Yiddish Policeman's Union on my way to a conference. Then at the conference they gave me this book so I don't feel nerdy... Well not that nerdy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/27/2013

    " I read this one for the Science and Inquiry book group - definitely one I wouldn't have chosen on my own but I found it to be good reading and I picked up some interesting nuggets of info. I particularly liked the Homer Simpson references! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Ross | 7/29/2013

    " A pretty good book about the metal that changed the world. Lots of history with part science, and some political science mixed in. The stories about the Uranium that was made into the first atomic bombs are really good. If you are a scientist or historian you would probably like this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joshua | 5/1/2013

    " Engaging narrative history of the discover, uses, and attempts at redeeming uranium. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phillip Rhoades | 4/30/2013

    " Zoellner managed to write a book with an intriguing narrative with immense depth. A must read for anyone interested in the human history of the mineral that has shaped international politics for decades. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Torkel | 3/22/2013

    " I really like the first couple of chapters on the development of the fist bomb. The second half was less interesting but ok. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Buddy | 8/16/2012

    " This history of uranium and its use and abuse taught me a lot of interesting facts, but it is not very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick Smeaton | 5/31/2012

    " Very interesting if you are interested in how Uranium has changed the world through thought and invention. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 9/3/2011

    " I liked this book. I learned a lot about the history and current issues about this element, more than I imagined I would. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Skutnik | 8/19/2011

    " See my review over atThe Neutron Economy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jef | 5/18/2011

    " There was an astounding uranium rush in the 50's and 60's in this country and Czechoslovakia. The largest uranium mine on the planet is in the middle of an Australian national park. It's really very easy to get uranium ore, the problem is refining (enriching) it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick Wallace | 2/15/2011

    " This is the kind of general history that makes me want to delve into a subject and learn how it works on every level. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 11/27/2010

    " A thorough and enlightening history of uranium that manages to keep out the complexities of the science involved and manages to ride the fence of a politically divisive rock. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gary Gray | 6/30/2010

    " Interesting, but a little dry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Hogan | 7/3/2009

    " It's not a rare element! "

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About the Author

Tom Zoellner is the author of Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World, winner of the 2010 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award; The Heartless Stone: A Journey through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire; and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller An Ordinary Man. He has worked as a reporter for the Arizona Republic and San Francisco Chronicle.

About the Narrator

Patrick Lawlor, an award-winning narrator, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many Library Journal and Kirkus starred audio reviews.