Everything we humans have ever done has depended on our ability to obtain energy, and Vaclav Smil is the world s leading historian of this process Energy and Civilization is sure to be the early twenty first century s most important guide to this all important subject Ian Morris, Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics, Stanford University author of Why the West Rules For Now Smil s masterful overview explains energy s centrality in creating and sustaining civilization Grounded in science, sensitive to cultural differences, and richly detailed, it is the definitive work on this vital subject David E Nye, author of Electrifying America and When the Lights Went Out A wise, compassionate, and valuable book Foreign Affairs This is a book to excite not just admiration, but also passion It is a literate and precise analysis of the evolution of human societies viewed through the lens of energy Literary Review of CanadaVaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba He is the author of forty books, including Power Density A Key to Understanding Energy Sources and Uses and Made in the USA The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing, both published by the MIT Press Inhe was named by Foreign Policy as one of the TopGlobal Thinkers InBill Gates wrote on his website that there is no author whose books I look forward tothan Vaclav Smil