This is the fascinating story of two German scientists whose revolutionary inventions gave the world an inexhaustible supply of both fertilizer and explosives -- ultimately created from air. If you have any interest in history you will enjoy this, not only because it is about some extremely important turning points, but also because it is true factual history written like a novel, which makes it even more palatable. The reading is pretty good as well.
This was a fun book. Well researched, well written and well delivered. It includes a little bit of my three favorite subjects...science, history & food. Well, kind of food, you can't have food without fixed nitrogen. I first became interested in fixed nitrogen & Haber's invention after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. Michael Pollan referred to it briefly, and I was surprised that I did not know much about an invention that changed the world in so many ways.
This book provides a history of the men involved with fixed nitrogen, the company's that they worked for that brought it to market, how they did it and the consequences of their creation.
Again, this is a fun, interesting read. You do not need a science or history background to enjoy this book. If you are just looking for a book on a different subject than you usually listen to, and you want to learn something new, check this out. I think you will enjoy it.
Not an everyday subject but one that is important to everyone, this book explained a lot and helped answer a lot of questions I had about the rise of Hitler and the prosperity of a lot of us throughout the 20th Century.
This story was fascinating. The author made a complex story interesting.
Well, I didn't know about synthetic gasoline that the Nazi's used! Can we bring that back?
No, but his deliberate style was somewhat dull.
No, it was better to digest a little at a time. Full of wonderful information.
my ipod and audible make the daily 10 mile walks a "breeze"....
usually i can find something of value in every book i "listen" to as i do my daily "long" walks...but this is probably the most boring book i have ever listened too...not only was it uninteresting....it made the daily walks even "longer"........
NO...NO...NO...a thousand times NO!!!!!!!!
wasted time listening
i think i've said enough
Fascinating, engaging, informative.
The history of the Nitrate Wars and the parts played by Chile, Peru and the foreign powers was all new to me.
If you are interested in technology and/or the resources debate this is an important insight into one of the most critical inventions in human history. It has everything: strong personalities, secrets, technical innovation, politics, racial prejudice, war, famine, Nazis - the lot. But it is all fact, not fiction, and it describes events that significantly shape the world we currently live in.
I learned about the Haber-Bosch process in school Chemistry but had no idea how absolutely essential it was to shaping the last 120 years.
Adam Verner has an excellent voice, intonation, and pace and is more pleasant than some other American narrators for those who speak a different form of English. :-)
At first, I was a bit afraid that the story would be boring, but very quickly I got totally absorbed by it! I learned a lot about both Chemistry, and the history of German science. Adam Verner is a fantastic narrater, so even I as a Swede, had no problems following this Amazing story. Highly recommended!
Yes, I didn't realise the significance of this invention until I listened to the book. I would listen again to pick up on some of the information I missed the first time.
It was fasinating to follow the tangents that developed through the story
Little tidbits like the acronym SHIT store high in transit
Clear concise read that made you feel like you were reading not listening
This is the first reveiw I have made. This book compelled me to reveiw as it deserves every accolade.
Probably one of the best as far as the storyline goes. Really very interesting
I thought it was fascinating to read how Haber developed poison gas for use by the Germans in World War I. Haber then developed a system for deploying/distributing the gas, and supervised the release of the gas at the front lines. Haber's wife committed suicide, using his service revolver, soon after the chemical warfare was initiated.
There are parts of the book that sound like an "Introduction to Chemistry" textbook. An understanding of the chemistry involved helped tell the story. Although engrossing, this was not a book that I personally would have enjoyed in "one sitting".
This was an all-round fascinating biography of a man whose discoveries/inventions have had both positive and negative impact of the lives of millions (if not billions) of people. Highly Recommended!