Reading list: The history of coal

Miner classics

The World Today Published 3 August 2018 Updated 10 November 2020 1 minute READ

Coal: A human history

Barbara Freese

Arrow. £12.99

Written by an American environmental lawyer, this is a romantic lament for the mineral that changed the lives of humanity for the better in the Industrial Revolution but now shrouds Chinese cities in suffocating pollution and is one of the key sources of climate change. Freese follows the story of coal from 18th century Britain to modern-day China, where the authorities censored the chapter on coal’s role in the economy.



Emile Zola

Penguin, £8.99

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