Black Gold: The History of How Coal Made Britain

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Black Gold: The History of How Coal Made Britain

Black Gold: The History of How Coal Made Britain

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Should anyone be tempted to live a simpler form of life, the miserable light offered after dark suggests some very long and boring winters before gas lighting and the advances enabled by coal were significant, as well as the prosperity enabled by such an impressive navy maintaining sea routes and trade. As someone who can't imagine anything worse than having to work underground in dark, hot, cramped spaces, the thought of this is unbearable. By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file.

He is also quizmaster on University Challenge, has written and presented television series such as Empire, The Victorians, Great Britain's Great War, and is the author of numerous articles for many publications . At times, Paxman’s capacity to combine confident generalisation with vivid detail reminded me of A J P Taylor, though I suspect that this might be partly because some of his historical knowledge does, in fact, derive from Taylor’s work. Read more about the condition New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. His account of this in The Road to Wigan Pier was vivid and heartfelt, as he struggled to describe the “heat, noise, confusion, darkness, foul air, and, above all, unbearably cramped space”. Coal and the mining of it may be old-fashioned and something we prefer not to think about, but it mustn't be forgotten.

It symbolised a hope for a brighter, cleaner future, making after-dark streets available to respectable people and allowing everyone to see where they were going.

In summary, a very informative and worthwhile read, although the content is depressing and you may wish to read something light-hearted afterwards to try and clear the smog from your brain. This did liven up the book although I did think some of his input was unnecessary, such as speculating whether the mining village of Aberfan had contributed to one of the most famous disasters by allowing the waste heap to stay in an unsafe position. Jeremy Paxman is equally good on the horrors of the work (the death toll was horrific, not just the disasters that killed hundreds in a single explosion, but the tens of thousands who died in smaller incidents), the immense wealth that came to those fortunate landowners who happened to find that they were sitting on mineral riches beyond their wildest dreams with barely any effort on their part, the technological innovation that coal powered steam stimulated, and the long-term mismanagement of the industry both before and after nationalisation in 1947.I am looking into this time in industrial history a lot more closely now, as it mentioned in this book, Scargill was pretty much correct in everything he said.

Paxman's main argument in the political sections of the book is that coal mining was unproductive and unprofitable in the 20th century long before Thatcher came to power (the peak of coal production was in 1913 then never recovered from WWI) so it is hard to see how it could have survived to the present day anyway.His speech is slurred (I know he is ill), and he suffers the journalist fetish of EMPHASising random SYLLABLES as if this added MEANING to the prose (it doesn't).

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