Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities (The MIT Press) Hardcover – Illustrated, September 24, 2019
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Smil, whose research spans energy, population and environmental change, drives home the cost of growth on a finite planet. It is high: polluted land, air and water, lost wilderness and rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.... Growth urges us to think differently. That is desperately needed to manage the trade-offs in making renewables more efficient, improving economic incentives for fast adoption, minimizing environmental degradation and bettering lives in a swelling population.—Nature—
Growth, whether biological, social or economic, may be normal, [Smil] says, but the exponential growth in economies and lifestyles we have seen in recent decades isn't, and can't continue without disastrous consequences.—New Scientist—
Growth is filled with numbers, graphs and mathematical notation. Yet it's written to be easily understood by non-mathematicians, making brilliant but accessible use of statistics to illustrate salient features of growth in all its terrestrial forms (the book's scope is limited to Earth). In short, Growth is a compelling read.—Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses—
A somewhat eccentric but really rather compelling read. The subtitle indicates its ambition. We do literally go from the growth dynamics of archaea and bacteria all the way to empires.... The joy of this book is less in the big picture than in the detail. And what a lot of it! The mind boggles at Smil's extensive reading and absorption of information. We get the speed at which marathons are run – over the entire course of human history; the growth rates of piglets and weight of chickens over time; sales of small non-industrial motors over time; the envelope for the maximum speed of travel; Kuznets cycles; Zipf's law for city size.... The middle section of chapters offer a fantastic overview of technical progress over long periods in a wide range of technologies. I love all this detail.—Diane Coyle, The Enlightened Economist—
A rich and unique work from one of the leading interdisciplinary minds in the world today.... An outstanding reference guide for growth in its many forms, I don't hesitate to say that Growth should find its way onto the bookshelves of everybody interested in understanding the complexity of growth and how it affects the urban landscape.—Spacing Vancouver—
In his new book, Growth — a dense, 500-page treatise that covers everything from 'microorganisms to megacities,'... Smil makes perhaps an even-more-off-putting proposition: that in order to 'ensure the habitability of the biosphere,' we must at the very least move away from prioritizing growth and perhaps abandon it entirely.—New York Magazine—
Smil's weighty tome turns out to be both entertaining and erudite, exploring the benefits and limits of material growth to reach a fundamental point about the uncertainty of civilization's survival and the importance of maintaining a habitable biosphere to ensure it.——
Vaclav Smil does for the history of energy what Thomas Piketty did for the history of inequality. And his findings are just as uncomfortable.―Rutger Bregman, historian and author of Utopia for Realists (2017) and Humankind (2020)
- Item Weight : 2.3 pounds
- Hardcover : 664 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0262042835
- ISBN-13 : 978-0262042833
- Dimensions : 6.38 x 1.63 x 9.38 inches
- Publisher : The MIT Press; Illustrated edition (September 24, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #42,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
At times, entire pages read like a rambling lecture from one of your college elective classes. There are sprinkles of interesting facts and observations with a huge number of citations, but the author almost comes across as a drunk fool. He doesn't write with a purpose. I found myself reading entire pages of rather dense material, where a single sentence goes on and on for at least 4 or more lines. There are many passages where there are no real "takeaways". There are sentences that could be ripped apart or stripped out entirely and the main idea explained in six or seven words without losing detail.
I don't want to accuse the author of anything, and I'll admit he excessively provides citations. But I gotta say – this book could be half its size if the author cut the bullshit. The complex writing is a delusion of grandeur. The reader is not better off by wasting time on these puzzles.
Top reviews from other countries
But I must admit, I found it boring - and I gave up on it after some 100+ pages. And I very rarely give up on books.
If I find the energy to finish it, I will update my review.
I will give Smil another chance with some of the other books he has written on energy, based on recommendations by Bill Gates.
I wish Smil would invest in a good editor. The book is difficult to read not only because of its complexity but also due to poor editing. Maybe he’s used to his books not being read by many so he doesn’t bother to have them edited but that’s quite unfortunate.
Nevertheless, there’s a gem to be found in almost every page of this book and that makes it well worth the pain of slow reading.