October 13, 2013

Let it Shine by John Perlin

Let it Shine by John Perlin is a book that features the sun as an amazing resource that people have been using for thousands of years. Solar power isn’t a new idea, in fact, it has been in use for over six thousand years (and probably much longer than that). Read this book to find out about how humans have been using the sun, and what to look forward to in terms of future plans, too.

Book Description
Even as concern over climate change and energy security fuel a boom in solar technology, many still think of solar as a twentieth-century wonder. Few realize that the first photovoltaic array appeared on a New York City rooftop in 1884, or that brilliant engineers in France were using solar power in the 1860s to run steam engines, or that in 1901 an ostrich farmer in Southern California used a single solar engine to irrigate three hundred acres of citrus trees. Fewer still know that during the Renaissance Galileo and his contemporaries planned the construction of sun-focusing mirrors as the ultimate weapon to burn enemy fleets and towns, that Leonardo da Vinci planned to make his fortune by building half-mile-long mirrors to heat water, or that the Bronze Age Chinese used hand-sized solar-concentrating mirrors to light fires the way we use matches and lighters today.

In this definitive history of solar technology, John Perlin tells a story that goes back more than six thousand years to when the Stone Age Chinese built their homes to make maximum use of the sun’s energy in winter. The book profiles the fascinating characters who made the solar revolution possible, revealing a group of unknown pioneers, like Gustav Vorherr, who opened up the first school of solar architecture in the 1820s, as well as solar advocates known for other accomplishments, such as Socrates, who 2,500 years ago gave a detailed discourse on designing passive solar homes. 

With thirteen new chapters, Let It Shine is a fully revised and expanded edition of A Golden Thread, Perlin’s classic history of solar technology, detailing the past forty years of technological developments driving today’s solar renaissance. This unique and compelling compendium of humankind’s solar ideas tells the fascinating story of how our predecessors throughout time, again and again, have applied the sun to better their lives — and how we can too.
” – Let it Shine

My Thoughts
Let it Shine is a very educational yet still interesting and relevant book about the sun, energy, and how people as a civilization have been using it. Before reading this book, I knew that using the sun was not a new concept. However, I didn’t realize that people had been putting it to such good use, even six thousand years ago. School doesn’t exactly teach us about all the cool things that it should, but thanks to books like this, we can learn fascinating details about mankind, civilizations, and new ways to look for the future of humankind.

I really enjoyed reading and learning so much from this book. I think that using renewable (and free) resources for energy is something that should be invested in much more than is currently being done. I also think that depending solely on a power grid is probably not the best idea countries can have. The move should be to have self-sustaining sources for families to utilize. Books and authors such as this only make me believe that more strongly. If you also feel this way, and want to learn more, I highly recommend that you read this book. I definitely recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Let it Shine, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.


Tim van der Vliet said...

Hi Sheri, my name is Tim van der Vliet. Just read your review of let it shine. My book is published by Hay House UK. Would you like to review?? Hope so! You can mail me via my website if you like so we can send you a copy... Thank you and have a nice day!
Tim van der Vliet

Tim van der Vliet said...

Oh it's called Spiritual Awakening (the easy way)! Thanks and cheers,
Tim van der Vliet

Anonymous said...

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