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Fossil Capital: the Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming

Under the theme of remembering the text (being a division of history after all) we will start a series of re-published texts from the enormous archive of different publications at the Divison. First out is Irma Allen’s review on Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming’ by Andreas Malm (Verso Books). This was originally published in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, and then later in the Ecologist.

Irma is a doctoral student within the EHL at the Division. Her research focuses on how coal, as a substance and a material of labour, has shaped ideas of the Polish nation. She will defend during 2021.

From front cover of ‘Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming’ by Andreas Malm (Verso Books).

We all know that coal and steam vanquished over water power in Britain’s – and the world’s – industrial revolution, writes Irma Allen. But as Andreas Malm sets out in his fascinating new book, the deciding factors in that victory were the unconstrained mastery over people and nature that coal provided mill owners. And so the model was set for the fossil age that may only now be coming to an end.

Read the full review: Fossil Capital: the rise of steam power and the roots of global warming

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