The Energy of Slaves by Andrew Nikiforuk
Oil and the New Servitude

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This provocative, if ominous-sounding book is never less than engaging.
-Toronto Star


By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award

Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion.

What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.

About Andrew Nikiforuk

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Andrew Nikiforuk is an award-winning Canadian journalist who has written about education, economics, and the environment for the last two decades. His books include Pandemonium; Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig's War against Oil, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction; The Fourth Horseman; and Tar Sands, which won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award and became a national bestseller.His most recent book, Empire of the Beetle, was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction and selected as a top book of the year by both The Globe and Mail and He lives in Calgary, Alberta.
Published August 17, 2012 by Greystone Books. 298 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Toronto Star

Reviewed by Nancy Wigston on Nov 22 2012

This provocative, if ominous-sounding book is never less than engaging.

Read Full Review of The Energy of Slaves: Oil and... | See more reviews from Toronto Star

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