Material World

Material World


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Andrew's Review

"Material World" by ED Conway is a remarkable exploration of the pivotal role materials have played in shaping our past and influencing our future. This insightful book takes readers on a captivating journey through history, delving into how various materials have been instrumental in shaping societies, economies, and technological advancements. From the discovery of fire to the invention of steel and beyond, Conway skillfully weaves together stories of human ingenuity and resourcefulness, painting a vivid picture of the profound impact materials have had on our civilization. With meticulous research and engaging prose, the author sheds light on the often overlooked significance of materials in our daily lives and offers a thought-provoking view of how we can harness this knowledge to build a better future.


"Material World" is an extraordinary read that fluently melds science, history, and anthropology. Conway's proficiency glimmers through the pages as he artfully conveys complex ideas in an easily comprehensible and enthralling way, thus rendering the novel suitable for both amateur readers and connoisseurs of the topic. Followers will leave with a novel appreciation for the materials that encircle them, attaining a profound understanding of the sophisticated link between people's advancement and the requirements we use. Whether you're an aficionado of the past or simply inquisitive about the environment around you, this extensive chronicle of our earlier and future is a must-read, leaving a permanent impression on your cognizance of the material world.


Publishers Reviews


These are the six most crucial substances in human history. They took us from the Dark Ages to the present day. They power our computers and phones, build our homes and offices, and create life-saving medicines. But most of us take them completely for granted.

In Material World, Ed Conway travels the globe - from the sweltering depths of the deepest mine in Europe, to spotless silicon chip factories in Taiwan, to the eerie green pools where lithium originates - to uncover a secret world we rarely see. Revealing the true marvel of these substances, he follows the mind-boggling journeys, miraculous processes and little-known companies that turn the raw materials we all need into products of astonishing complexity.

As we wrestle with climate change, energy crises and the threat of new global conflict, Conway shows why these substances matter more than ever before, and how the hidden battle to control them will shape our geopolitical future. This is the story of civilisation - our ambitions and glory, innovations and appetites - from a new perspective- literally from the ground up.