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Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute
John Perlin is the historian of solar energy. He now takes the history back thousands of years to early Chinese architecture and the yang-sui, the little bronze mirrors boys used to start the family fire, to nineteenth-century inventors who feared that coal supplies were about to run out, to modern passive solar buildings and today’s falling costs and growing use of photovoltaics. He does all this with a penchant for the diverse characters along the journey and with remarkable illustrations that vividly capture the six-thousand-year story of solar energy.”
Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World and The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power
With remarkable depth, breadth, and precision, John Perlin lays out humankind’s long reliance on the sun before the carbon era and points the way to a healthy, comfortable, productive, resilient solar-powered world. There is more intelligence and common sense in this volume than in all the federal reports on energy of the last quarter-century combined.”
Denis Hayes, former director of the federal Solar Energy Research Institute and founder of the Earth Day Network
The authoritative background story behind the worldwide solar revolution, Let It Shine is a story of human ingenuity and perseverance told with clarity and depth. The next chapter is ours to write.”
David W. Orr, professor of environmental studies and politics at Oberlin College and author of Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse
Let It Shine makes it abundantly clear that solar energy has a long and glorious past a prologue, in fact that is as bright and diverse as its future will be. Far from being a disruption of the current energy economy, solar power can be harnessed in thousands of ways, making it easy to embrace and integrate into our future, as this book brilliantly demonstrates.”
Daniel M. Kammen, distinguished professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley
Let It Shine shows how today’s renewable revolution builds on the tenacious efforts of countless generations of innovators whose vision we may finally be privileged enough to bring to full flower.”
from the foreword by Amory Lovins, cofounder and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute
Praise for A Golden Thread, the previous edition of Let It Shine:
An absolute must-read.”
Alexis Madrigal, senior editor at The Atlantic and author of Powering the Dream
Western man has been using the sun’s rays for useful purposes since the days of ancient Greece, as this comprehensive, carefully researched, clearly written history of solar architecture and technology makes abundantly clear. The illustrations and diagrams that illuminate the text on almost every page are especially fine examples of modern graphic presentations.”
New York Times
It is a humbling book. Handsomely illustrated and lucidly written, A Golden Thread is a rich mine of information.”
Los Angeles Times
The history of mankind’s efforts to use the sun’s energy is a fascinating story, one told in a lively yet scholarly manner here....The triumphs and defeats of solar pioneers help us appreciate what a solar future may yet hold.”
Christian Science Monitor
This book is sorely needed in the solar publication field, for although there are any number of how-to books on solar technology, few if any examine the history of this much-neglected energy source in any depth.”
I just happened to be carrying A Golden Thread in my suitcase at Princeton. On my way home, I devoured it. Richly illustrated and thoroughly documented, it is a feast for the most critical historian’s mind and eye.”
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If you are in any way involved with solar energy, at any level (aren't we all?), you will be grateful to have this book, if only for the adventure.
The book's cover makes it look like a hippie manifesto, but it's not (there's nothing wrong with hippies). It's a book about the practical use of free energy in our daily lives. Highly recommended.