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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Well Written Book on an Unusual Subject.
This book concentrates on the impact of coal on human history and development, written by an impartial observer (an assistant attorney-general of Minnesota who began to research the impact of coal for her job). It was a real eye-opener, and illustrated that the pollution of the environment started a long time before the Industrial Revolution. A fantastic piece of social...
Published on 19 Nov 2005 by Theophrastus

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good in parts but ultimately unsatisfying
This book is great in parts where it concentrates on what it suggests it is doing by telling the story and weighing the significance of coal - but the middle bit is dominated by a polemic on the inherent dangers of climate change such that it goes off at a tangent and completely destroys the shape of the narrative, leaving big holes and a strong suggestion that the whole...
Published on 21 Jun 2009 by N. Wood


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Well Written Book on an Unusual Subject., 19 Nov 2005
This review is from: Coal: A Human History (Hardcover)
This book concentrates on the impact of coal on human history and development, written by an impartial observer (an assistant attorney-general of Minnesota who began to research the impact of coal for her job). It was a real eye-opener, and illustrated that the pollution of the environment started a long time before the Industrial Revolution. A fantastic piece of social history. Highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good in parts but ultimately unsatisfying, 21 Jun 2009
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N. Wood "17" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coal: A Human History (Paperback)
This book is great in parts where it concentrates on what it suggests it is doing by telling the story and weighing the significance of coal - but the middle bit is dominated by a polemic on the inherent dangers of climate change such that it goes off at a tangent and completely destroys the shape of the narrative, leaving big holes and a strong suggestion that the whole book was conceived simply to deliver this. It's not as if anyone needs telling about climate change and it ruins a worthwhile idea. A pity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book Ive read in ages, 6 Nov 2013
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C. Bower "Suffolk Lady" (Suffolk UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coal: A Human History (Paperback)
Very informative and will be passing it around our family. Had no idea how important coal had been in our history
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 19 Sep 2013
I love books that describe how a single commodity slots into and shapes human history; this book is a fabulous example of the genre. There is ample biology, geology and politics to keep the reader fascinated. A stunning read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Am Coal, 5 May 2012
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This review is from: Coal: A Human History (Paperback)
This book was so interesting I wrote a song based on it!
[...]
I have written quite a few mining songs but this book gave me a new perspective.
I am a great fan of the book.
Ed Pickford
PS I sent the song 'I Am Coal' to the author Barbara Freese & thanked her for her work.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not what you might expect, 17 July 2008
This review is from: Coal: A Human History (Paperback)
This book does not live up to its title - for anyone expecting a Coal version of Yergins "Prize" or Kurlansky's "Salt" or "Cod" they will be sorely dissappointed. This is a book which appears to have been written to suit the authors green ideals and not to map the history of coal.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 11 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Coal: A Human History (Paperback)
Coal yeah nice
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Coal: A Human History
Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese (Audio CD - 1 Jun 2003)
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