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Reviews

"A highly original, imaginative book that offers an alternative history of modernity. Beautifully—at times, even poetically—written, Mineral Rites is animated by a clear sense of political urgency and a willingness to recast familiar stories in a new and original light. Creative and insightful."

"An evocative and well-written cultural analysis of the fossil economy that combines rich examples with profound questions and tangled ambiguities. Johnson examines a number of different and fascinating cultural texts to uncover the energy transition from an organic muscular economy to fossil fuels."

"Bob Johnson's Mineral Rites is a compelling and original take on fossil capitalism. With a historian's eye and writerly flair, he takes us on a fossil fueled journey through time and space. This book is an indispensable guide to our American addiction to fossil fuels—and possibly, how to extract ourselves from its deathly grip."

"In this fascinating, stunningly original book, Johnson astutely combines the personal with the political, the local with the global, the cultural with the material to chart the pleasures and pains of fossil capitalism. As the climate crisis continues to intensify, Mineral Rites offers an engrossing and provocative history of the present."

"An exceptional book. Mineral Rites identifies vital energy modalities and traces their social life and mediation across the bodies, objects, affects, and cultural artifacts of fossil fueled modernity. With climate change in stark view, Johnson divines the historically uneven and destructive consequences of high carbon life, with its class, gendered, and racialized formations, in a stunning variety of practices, times, and spaces: the yoga studio, dinner table, ocean liner, highway; in historical attitudes to technology and in televisual and literary narratives. A thrilling and groundbreaking text in energy and environmental humanities."

"Literary and cultural critic Bob Johnson provides a language with which to make sense of these complex, embodied, everyday experiences of extracted energy."

"The subtitle of Mineral Rites is particularly apt, for it truly is a work of rhetorical archaeology – Johnson peels back the layers of what we know (or think we know) about the fossil fuel industry to reveal the mind-bogglingly expansive scope of how the fossil economy reaches out and affects peoples' lived experiences in vastly different ways... As a cautionary tale, it is a veritable punch to the gut that leaves us gasping for air."