The Romans called it 'the best stone in Britain' and used it to make jewellery. Coal has transformed societies and launched empires. It fuelled the industrial revolution, inspired the Communist manifesto, and was a catalyst for some of the greatest inventions of all time - from the steam engine to the railroad. Taking us on a rich historical journey that begins hundreds of years ago on the banks of the River Tyne and spanned the globe, Barbara Freese shows us the profound and often surprising role coal has played in human history. A gifted and lively storyteller, Barbara Freese tells the riveting story of how a shiny black lump changed the modern world.
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'Freese has the reader eating out of her hand... A marvellous book.' -- Liza Picard, author of Elizabeth's London
'enthralling... Her style is engaging, her research impressive, her message an important one.'' -- Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States
'illuminating, often startling... An egaging book, with surprises on virtually every page.' -- Ross Gelbspan, author of The Heat is On
an engaging and interesting book, tightly documented and consistently readable -- Daily Telegraph
elegant' & 'valuable -- The Sunday Times
A brilliant, short gem of a book on the small black stone that fuelled the industrial revolution and Britain's rise to Empire, and still powers the world. For fans of Cod and Salt and readers interested in the business of energy.
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