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Alchemy Of Air: A Jewish Genius, A Doomed Tycoon, And The Scientific Discovery That Fed The World But Fueled The Rise Of Hitler (2014)

by Thomas Hager(Favorite Author)
4.21 of 5 Votes: 1
1306957044 (ISBN13: 9781306957045)
Broadway Books
review 1: Remember that BASF ad campaign "We don't make things..We make things better"? It sure didn't shed much light on what BASF was or did. This book does. It's really pretty astonishing that a company founded in 1856 and closely tied to the Nazi party survives today as the largest chemical company in the world. As a longtime fan of James Burke's Connections series, I was aware of the aniline dye-nitrates-explosives connection (in fact, the Wikipedia page on the Connection series shows Burke explaining the Haber-Bosch process that is central to The Alchemy of Air), but this book weaves together the personalities of the major players, history, and socio-political movements with the science, making for a compelling and enlightening read.
review 2: Who knew how importan
... moret the history of fertilizer is? Okay, maybe I should have. While I previously knew the outline of this scientific story, I found this book really interesting and informative. The stories are told well and the historical context is amazing.The book dragged a little towards the end, as things fell apart in Germany and the main characters lost everything. This is not a story with anything approximating a happy ending, but there was a little bit too much industrial detail in there for me even considering that.Still, a very good book that can spark good discussion. less
Reviews (see all)
Good book. Never knew reading about fertilizer could be so interesting.
I enjoyed this one. Good read about Haber, Bosch, and post-WWI Germany.
Who knew fertilizer could be so interesting.
One of my favorites.
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