The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      American Library Association
    • Publication Date:
      2018
    • Abstract:
      The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. By Vince Beiser. Aug. 2018. 304p. Riverhead, $28 (9780399576423). 620.1. [...]
    • ISSN:
      0006-7385
    • Rights:
      COPYRIGHT 2018 American Library Association
      Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
    • Accession Number:
      edsgcl.550613048
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      HAYS, C. The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. Booklist, [s. l.], v. 114, n. 22, p. 12, 2018. Disponível em: http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsglr&AN=edsgcl.550613048&authtype=ip,sso&custid=s5672421. Acesso em: 25 maio. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Hays C. The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. Booklist. 2018;114(22):12. http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsglr&AN=edsgcl.550613048&authtype=ip,sso&custid=s5672421. Accessed May 25, 2020.
    • APA:
      Hays, C. (2018, August 1). The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. Booklist, 114(22), 12.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Hays, Carl. 2018. “The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization.” Booklist, August 1. http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsglr&AN=edsgcl.550613048&authtype=ip,sso&custid=s5672421.
    • Harvard:
      Hays, C. (2018) ‘The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization’, Booklist, 1 August, p. 12. Available at: http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsglr&AN=edsgcl.550613048&authtype=ip,sso&custid=s5672421 (Accessed: 25 May 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Hays, C 2018, ‘The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization’, Booklist, vol. 114, no. 22, p. 12, viewed 25 May 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Hays, Carl. “The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization.” Booklist, vol. 114, no. 22, Aug. 2018, p. 12. EBSCOhost, widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsglr&AN=edsgcl.550613048&authtype=ip,sso&custid=s5672421.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Hays, Carl. “The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization.” Booklist, August 1, 2018. http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsglr&AN=edsgcl.550613048&authtype=ip,sso&custid=s5672421.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Hays C. The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. Booklist [Internet]. 2018 Aug 1 [cited 2020 May 25];114(22):12. Available from: http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsglr&AN=edsgcl.550613048&authtype=ip,sso&custid=s5672421

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2018 August #1

When we're lounging on a sunny beach in Hawaii or Florida, sipping a margarita and texting a friend back home, few of us realize that the sand beneath our feet is as important for our mobile devices and the hotels standing behind us as it is for our tropical vacation. In fact, sand is the third most consumable substance on this earth, behind air and water. Without it, as veteran science writer Beiser reports in this fascinating if sometimes unsettling volume, our civilization would not even exist in its current form. Sand, comprised mostly of naturally ground quartz, when mixed with cement supplies a full 70-percent of the ingredients in concrete, which forms most of our buildings and roads. Along with describing sand's critical role in the manufacturing of glass and silicon chips, Beiser also tracks the complicated process of sand mining and exposes its little seen dark side, including widespread landscape destruction, species endangerment, and even a "sand mafia" in India. A vital addition to every library collection's coverage of resource exploitation and environmental issues. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2018 June #2

Journalist Beiser presents a fascinating take on the importance of sand, perhaps the most common material on Earth that possesses the unique ability to transform the world in myriad ways. Sand is the key ingredient in the concrete buildings we live and work in, the asphalt roads we drive on, and the mobile phones on which we rely. Specifically, Beiser argues that the rise of the U.S. automobile was facilitated by the growth of its road system, of which sand is a major component. Our dependence on cars is now a worldwide phenomenon, and new roads are being built continually with this natural resource. Unfortunately, the most useful sand comes from environmentally sensitive areas, and the scarcity of a suitable composition has become so dire that criminal organizations worldwide steal the mineral, often putting lives at risk in their pursuit. Another troubling effect is the extremely harmful carbon footprint that transporting sand incurs; Beiser demonstrates how Middle Eastern countries import sand from as far afield as Australia. VERDICT Beiser is a diligent researcher, and his sources and interviews build a strong case in this entirely absorbing if troubling read to argue that the many grains of sand, often associated with abundance, are in fact, finite.—Brian Renvall, Mesalands Community Coll., Tucumcari, NM

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2018 May #3

What does sand—the humble stuff of beaches and dunes—have to do with the making of the contemporary world? Quite a lot, actually, says journalist Beiser. He argues that sand, with its extraordinary range of properties, including durability and pliancy, is "the most important solid substance on earth... that makes modern life possible." Sand is the key ingredient in concrete buildings and highways; in the form of glass, it is "the thing that lets us see everything" through windows, microscope lenses, eyeglasses, and smartphone screens. But due to the explosion in its uses and the increasing number and size of cities, sand is running out: the book is at its urgent best in chapters on the black market in sand and the sand mafias that brutally exercise control over resources in places like Raipur Khadar, a farming village south of New Delhi, whose ecosystem has been plundered by the demand for sand. The flip side of the story of modern life is, of course, the story of ecological devastation: Beiser moves from the denuded beaches of St. Vincent, in the Caribbean, to the replanted deserts of Inner Mongolia, showing the true cost of the "sand wars." Breezily written and with insights on every page, this is an eye-opening look at a resource too often taken for granted. Agent: Lisa Bankoff, ICM. (Aug.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.