Cover: Routes of Power: Energy and Modern America, from Harvard University PressCover: Routes of Power in PAPERBACK

Routes of Power

Energy and Modern America

Working at the intersection of technological and environmental history, Jones shows that understanding political economy and social context are integral to understanding energy transitions. His elegantly written and cogently argued narrative of how Americans spent down the planetary savings account of solar energy amassed in fossil fuels is as compelling as a mystery novel.—Ann Norton Greene, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Jones rethinks our understanding of the history of energy by examining from a new angle America’s transformation from a society that is dependent on human and animal power to one that relies on fossil fuels and electrical power generation. By focusing on the history of energy infrastructure, Routes of Power demonstrates how this transformation occurred and, in doing so, provides a picture of America’s energy history that is new, concrete, innovative, and persuasive.—Martin V. Melosi, author of Atomic Age America

In Routes of Power, Jones investigates the economics, the social consequences, and the environmental costs of the transformation from muscle power to coal, oil, and electricity. His work demonstrates effectively that technological change is not automatic but requires human effort and ingenuity.—David E. Nye, author of America’s Assembly Line