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Reviews

  • Provocative, enlightening... Calder is the perfect guide around some of mankind's most substantial achievements, but never swerves away from asking hard questions

    Best Books of 2021, Herald
  • [An] engaging study... It has something of the appeal of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel - that of grounding historical mysteries in material facts... Partly a hymn or elegy to the world that fossil fuels made, partly a warning of the disasters they are bringing... Calder makes a simple and important point, often with engaging and unexpected detail: architecture is indeed made by energy, which makes crucial the next stage of its evolution

    Rowan Moore, Observer
  • A survey of construction and its entanglement with energy use... Superb

    Financial Times
  • An essential read: clarifying, alarming, but hopeful

    Architects' Journal
  • An insightful, often impassioned journey through the history of buildings

    Simon Ings, New Scientist
  • [A] powerful, disturbing account of architecture and energy since ancient times

    Andrew Robinson, Nature
  • Calder has written an energetic global history of architecture - energetic both in the vim he brings to a colossal subject, and in its particular focus... For the general reader, it's an entertaining and original introduction to the history of architecture. For the architect, it helpfully sets the daunting challenges of our day in lively and inspiring context

    Will Wiles, RIBA
  • A highly readable world history of architecture... This book will help to reinforce the crucial role of architecture in tackling the climate crisis

    Catherine Croft, RIBA Journal
  • Calder's brilliant book [...arises from] a truly astonishing depth and breadth of research [...and] develops a new frame for architectural writing which frankly makes some of the previous architectural histories look at best parochial, or at worst irrelevant in the face of the global climate crisis

    Professor Jeremy Till, Buildings and Cities
  • A brilliantly written and timely investigation into a fundamental truth that is often overlooked: energy, in particular the availability of certain types of fuel, is perhaps the single most important driver of architectural design

    Florian Urban, Professor of Architectural History, Glasgow School of Art

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