Fifty Minerals that Changed the Course of History is a beuatifully presented guide to the minerals that have shaped and defined our lives.
Weaving together strands of econimic, cultural, political and industrial history, each entry gives a fascinating perspective on the scope and pace of human development and the dangers posed by our exploitation of Earth's resources.
From flint and obsidian to bronze and iron, the book explores the history of industry from the earliest recorded history, and marvels at the extraordinary works of art produced in gold, silver, ivory and jade by the great classical civilisations of the Old and New Worlds.
Moving into modern times, the book charts the industrialisation of societites though the use of fossil fuels, the production of steel and aluminium and the harnessing of nuclear energy from uranium and plutonium.
Eric Chaline is a professional journalist and writer specializing in history,philosophy, and religion. A graduate of Cambridge University and The Schoolof African and Oriental Studies, London, he lived in Tokyo for seven years wherehe was English-language editor for Kodansha Publishers. More recently, he haspublished titles on philosophy, including The Book of Zen and The Book of Gods, andon history, including Traveler’s Guide to the Ancient World: Ancient Greece, History’sWorst Inventions, History’s Greatest Deceptions, and History’s Worst Predictions. He nowlives and works in London, where he is conducting doctoral research in sociology atSouth Bank University.