"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. [...] 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’s singular style, Energy details how this knowledge of our history can inform our way tomorrow." -- Amazon.
Part 1. Power. No wood, no kingdom ; Raising water by fire ; A giant with one idea ; To make for all the world ; Catch me who can ; Unconquered steam! Part 2. Light. Rushlight to gaslight ; Pursuing Leviathan ; Burning fluids ; Wild animals ; Great forces of nature ; A cadence of water ; An enormous yellow cheese ; Pillars of black cloud Part 3. New fires. A gift of God ; One-armed men doing welding ; Full power in fifty-seven ; Affection from the smog ; The dark age to come ; All aboard.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 347-397) and index.