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How the World Really Works: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Past, Present and Future Hardcover – 27 Jan. 2022

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,149 ratings

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Review

Very informative and eye-opening in many ways -- Ha-Joon Chang, author of 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

It is reassuring to read an author so impervious to rhetorical fashion and so eager to champion uncertainty . . . Smil's book is at its essence a plea for agnosticism, and, believe it or not, humility - the rarest earth metal of all. His most valuable declarations concern the impossibility of acting with perfect foresight. Living with uncertainty, after all, "remains the essence of the human condition." Even under the most optimistic scenario, the future will not resemble the past -- Nathaniel Rich ―
New York Times

A grumpy, pugnacious account that, I would argue, is intellectually indispensable in the run up to this year's COP27 climate conference in Egypt. In short,
How the World Really Works fully delivers on the promise of its title. It is hard to formulate any higher praise -- Simon Ings ― New Scientist

You can agree or disagree with Smil - accept or doubt his 'just the facts' posture-but you probably shouldn't ignore him . . . In Smil's provocative but perceptive view, unrealistic notions about carbon reduction are partly, and ironically, attributable to the very productivity that societies achieved by substituting machine work, powered by fossil fuels, for draft animals and human laborers ―
Washington Post

This accessible and witty book cuts to the chase of what we need to know -- Caroline Sanderson ―
The Bookseller, 'Editor's Choice'

If you are anxious about the future, and infuriated that we aren't doing enough about it, please read this book -- Paul Collier, author of The Future of Capitalism

"I am neither a pessimist nor an optimist; I am a scientist," Smil writes in the introduction, with typically Smilian swagger. In fact, he is more of a numberist, a polymath with a gift for rigorously crushing complex data into pleasing morsels of information -- Pilita Clark ―
Financial Times

Smil's meticulously researched words are for anyone who wants his priors reexamined and feathers ruffled -- Joakin Book ―
AIER

Ambitious and eye-opening . . . provides valuable insight as opposed to the agenda-pushing rhetoric commonly found in mainstream scientific literature. Data-rich, informative and eye-opening,
How the World Really Works is a captivating read -- Lily Pagano ― Reaction

A compelling, fascinating, and most important, realistic portrait of the world and where it's going -- Steven Pinker, on Numbers Don’t Lie

About the Author

Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of over forty books on topics including energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. No other living scientist has had more books (on a wide variety of topics) reviewed in Nature. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, in 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Viking (27 Jan. 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0241454395
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0241454398
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.2 x 3.2 x 24 cm
  • Customer reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 1,149 ratings

About the author

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Vaclav Smil is currently a Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. He completed his graduate studies at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Carolinum University in Prague and at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences of the Pennsylvania State University. His interdisciplinary research interests encompass a broad area of energy, environmental, food, population, economic, historical and public policy studies, and he had also applied these approaches to energy, food and environmental affairs of China.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy) and the first non-American to receive the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology. He has been an invited speaker in more than 250 conferences and workshops in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa, has lectured at many universities in North America, Europe and East Asia and has worked as a consultant for many US, EU and international institutions. His wife Eva is a physician and his son David is an organic synthetic chemist.

Official Website: www.vaclavsmil.com


Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
1,149 global ratings

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1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition is worst
By Tushar on 22 June 2022
All sentences are fragmented. There is no original copy as physical. I returned it.Google play books has better version.
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