Summary

Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author Richard Rhodes reveals the fascinating history behind energy transitions over time - wood to coal to oil to electricity and beyond.
People have lived and died, businesses have prospered and failed, and nations have risen to world power and declined, all over energy challenges. Ultimately, the history of these challenges tells the story of humanity itself.
Through an unforgettable cast of characters, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes explains how wood gave way to coal and coal made room for oil, as we now turn to natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy. Rhodes looks back on five centuries of progress, through such influential figures as Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, Benjamin Franklin, Herman Melville, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford.
In Energy, Rhodes highlights the successes and failures that led to each breakthrough in energy production, from animal and water power to the steam engine, from internal combustion to the electric motor. He addresses how we learned from such challenges, mastered their transitions, and capitalized on their opportunities. Rhodes also looks at the current energy landscape, with a focus on how wind energy is competing for dominance with cast supplies of coal and natural gas. He also addresses the specter of global warming and a population hurtling toward 10 billion by 2100.
Human beings have confronted the problem of how to draw life from raw material since the beginning of time. Each invention, each discovery, each adaptation brought further challenges, and through such transformations we arrived at where we are today. In Rhodes’ singular style, Energy details how this knowledge of our history can inform our way tomorrow. 
©2018 Richard Rhodes (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By D. Jarenicz on 06-06-18

Interesting topics, very well narrated

I have listened to Richard's previous books and always enjoyed them. This was also enjoyable, strayed off topic sometimes. Great narration

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Derek Anderson Haas on 15-07-18

Educational and inspiring

Richard Rhodes impresses again. By winding little-known tales of discovery and invention into a narrative he brings the reader on a tour through the history of human mastery of energy sources.

In addition to the history of energy, it is an instructional journey through the trials and tribulations integer this to technological progress.

I plan on using this book as a supplemental text in my engineering courses and encourage all educators of technology, science, and history to do so as well.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Richard on 08-07-18

Rich In Technical Detail Regarding Inventions

This book is rich in technical detail regarding many of the greatest inventions of the industrial revolution. It provides an enlightened perspective on the development of various forms of energy to the development of the world's economies. One glaring flaw in the oral presentation is the reader's mispronunciation of several well known words or syllables. For example the reader consistently mispronounces "gigawatt" as though it were spelled "jigawatt."

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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