Energy and Civilization

By Vaclav Smil,

Book cover of Energy and Civilization: A History

Book description

A comprehensive account of how energy has shaped society throughout history, from pre-agricultural foraging societies through today's fossil fuel–driven civilization.

"I wait for new Smil books the way some people wait for the next 'Star Wars' movie. In his latest book, Energy and Civilization: A History, he goes deep and…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Energy and Civilization as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Over the last two centuries, human per capita energy usage has grown 800 percent, while the population has also grown to the same degree. Life has changed profoundly due to our adoption of fossil fuels—but puzzlingly few people are curious to understand energy’s role in society and history. Smil fills the void to overflowing with this detailed account of how people have harvested energy from their environments, and how doing so has changed the ways they live.

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