Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese

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Coal: A Human History was written by Barbara Freese to focus on the history of coal and how mankind has used it as part of their lifestyle. Ever since the times when early nomads used the slash-and-burn method, coal has been around acting as jewelry for the Romans and as fuel for peasants and the noble class in Britain. Coal was in such high demand that many inventions were utilized for the convenience of retrieving it from intolerable conditions such as vacuums and the construction of more efficient underground tunnels. The book gives insight of how this small stone has been so vital to humans that they were able to adapt to the ways coal best functions. Freese wrote this non-fiction book to inform how coal has affected humans socially, economically, and medically. As an Assistant Attorney General of Minnesota she has helped enforce the major pollution laws of her state. Freese suppose that the public need to know how to contain themselves and use coal in moderation, unlike our prior generations. It is thought by Freese that if humankind continues to act greedy with coal, the planet will only continue to get abused by the actions of humans. The book explains in vast detail how a greasy lump of fertilized plant and soil has given many opportunities for human growth to prosper. Offering heat as an energy source, coal has made a lasting impression on what humans are today. It is stated in the book that without the use of coal many inventions would not be around due to the facilitation of its connection to coal and life today would be most certainly different. As humans first discovered coal, like every other commodity on Earth, there had to be experiments before the best use for it was found. Freese illustrates the introduction ... ... middle of paper ... changed my point of view in the way I see and value coal. Like stated in the book, coal is thought of as a sign of poverty and weakness. However after Freese explains this statement and how it is not true, I began to understand how important coal was for molding the lives we know today. Though this book would not be one which is read for enjoyment, there are overwhelming amounts of detail and descriptions which makes it a valid source of information. From the early stages of jewelry to heating houses to fueling locomotives, coal has been around as a strong and reliable source. This is a commodity which has truly stood through the test of time and its vast powers will allow it to prosper even more. It is safe to say that without coal the lives of humans would not be operating as currently known to civilization, due to the path it paved in all aspects of a society.

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