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Publisher's Summary

Over vast expanses of time, fire and humanity have interacted to expand the domain of each, transforming the earth and what it means to be human. In this concise yet wide-ranging book, Stephen J. Pyne - named by Science magazine as "the world's leading authority on the history of fire" - explores the surprising dynamics of fire before humans, fire and human origins, aboriginal economies of hunting and foraging, agricultural and pastoral uses of fire, fire ceremonies, fire as an idea and a technology, and industrial fire.

In this revised and expanded audiobook edition, Pyne looks to the future of fire as a constant, defining presence on Earth. A new chapter explores the importance of fire in the 21st century, with special attention to its role in the Anthropocene, or what he posits might equally be called the Pyrocene.

The book is published by University of Washington Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

Praise for the book:

"No one is better qualified to teach us about fire's history, fire's crucial role in shaping landscapes, than Stephen Pyne." (The New York Times)

"Pyne is the world's leading authority on the history of fire, and his erudition is phenomenal." (Science)

"Stephen J. Pyne writes about fire as if he were on fire, with searing, consuming heat and light." (Seattle Times)

©2019 Stephen J. Pyne (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks

What listeners say about Fire: A Brief History

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  • Carl Thomas
  • 09-08-2020

Fascinating if repetitive in content

Covers the broad span of human history through the lens of fire. Recommended, although many of the chapters have overlapping content.

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