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Mining in World History (Globalities)

Mining in World History (Globalities) [Kindle Edition]

Martin Lynch
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'... quite simply the best history ever published on the role of mining in shaping world events' -- Historic Environment Journal

Product Description

Mining in World History deals with the history of mining and smelting from the Renaissance to the present day, drawing out, in an engaging and fast-paced fashion, the interplay of personalities, politics and technology which have together shaped the metallurgical industries over the last 500 years.
Martin Lynch opens with the invention, sometime before the year 1453, of a
revolutionary technique for separating silver from copper, an event that
revived the rich copper-silver mines of central Europe and the ruling
ambitions of the Habsburg emperors who owned them. The author shows how the
flood of silver from Spain's newly-conquered American colonies brought about
the demise of these mines, and goes on to examine the far-reaching changes
brought to mining and smelting by the steam engine and the Industrial
Revolution. The book then looks at the era of the gold rushes and the
comprehensive developments in mineral extraction and technology that took
place in the United States and South Africa at the end of the nineteenth
century, and describes the spread of mass metal-production techniques across
the world amid the violent struggles of the twentieth century and the energy
crises of the 1970s.
Written by an author vastly experienced in the field, Mining in World
History is the first book to provide an account of how and why change and
advance in this global industry have taken place in different eras and
locations around the world. As such it will appeal to the industry
specialist as well as to the general reader who wants to know more about a
field that has been fundamental to the construction of industrial

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1124 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books; New edition edition (6 Nov 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A2RR52C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #833,264 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A very dry but detailed read 19 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very helpful resource if (like me) you are looking for a concise history of the mining industry. It ends in the 1970s which is a bit disappointing given the massive changes that occur post 1980. Still highly recommended
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction 25 April 2011
This succeeds admirably in providing a broad introduction to the history of the mining of metals, with the interplay of technology, politics, economic development and greed. In it's scope it is, as far as I can tell, unique. As stated it covers the period up to the 1970's, which might explain why there is no mention of the Platinum Group metals and the Rare Earths, or the impact of Chinese development on global mining. This should appeal to anyone interested in the history of technology.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 1 Aug 2010
By Paul McEwan - Published on
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It should be made into a documentary.

The book is more than about who discovered gold or some other mineral here or there but about the evolution of mining and refining techniques, the evolution of finance and banking and the evolution of the industries and empires and people that use the metals and how all the players have changed each other as they evolved. It's about the larger than life personalities, the historically neglected, the cheated, the lucky and unlucky. The book is so broad in its sweep through history yet so subtle and acute and personal. The countries that are or have been major players on the world stage are duly documented and on occasion countries not recognized historically as major players in mining have a bright flash of light cast upon them by a single sentence or paragraph describing almost world domination for decades in the production of particular metals or mining of certain ores.

You come away from this book feeling you can understand where we came from and what drives our society and has driven our society for hundreds of years. Here in Australia a financial journalist recently said that the fortunes of the Australian share market is defined by our biggest bank and our biggest mining company. I can now see why. These two industries, mining and finance, underpin all industrial societies of all political persuasions around the globe, and have a vast impact on societies not dependent on manufactured goods when minerals are discovered on their soil.

The book is not judgemental or political in any way and is not an advertisement for mining, doesn't gloss over, doesn't exaggerate, and doesn't bore with dry detail. I found the book entertaining and extremely well written and researched... not that I knew anything much about mining in world history before reading this book. There are some maps provided in the book but a good atlas or globe may come in handy to locate some of the locations mentioned that aren't mapped as I find seeing on a map where something is or something happened makes it somewhat more fulfilling. The only trouble is having to interrupt you reading to look up the location!

Not all mining has been covered such as the scarcer or obscure metals or minerals or the more recent but vast impact of the oil industry... considering oil reserves were the prizes at stake in two world wars... but I think the oversight of the oil industry was probably deliberate as oil in world history would be another book in itself... you get the feeling the author would be able to write another 20 or 30 volumes... I'd certainly have a go at reading them if he wrote them!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Perspective of the World 7 Mar 2014
By Thien S. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great short history in mining and covers many aspects. It goes into detail just enough to get you interested. My perspective of the world has changed dramatically.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of mining's role in the Western world's history. 19 Feb 2014
By Paul C. Jones - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mining in World History is a good account of how minerals and their development and use advanced the history of the Western World. The author's background as a metallurgist slanted the book a bit toward the development of metallurgy processes but this was fair. A few minor glitches, but not serious or important.

Excellent read!
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