This was a grand journey through the last 500 years - how coal has shaped our lives and our entire society. I had never really realized the impact coal had on what we consider to be Western civilization.
From the rise of England as a naval force, the development of the steam engine and railroads, creation of the labor union and modern industrial standards - all the way to current day developments in China. Coal was a true catalyst for our society.
And if you think coal doesn't matter, consider that the vast majority of the "clean" electricity we used today actually comes from burning coal.
This book is great for anyone interested in how one small element had and continues to have on our lives and Western civilization. The book also outlines the ecological impact of coal use, along with the effects of acid rain and global warming.