You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Find

‘Wood: A History’ by Joachim Radkau

A illustration made for the 1878 Paris Word Fair showing steam powered foresting in the US.

Continue reading below

“Wood: A History’’ (Polity) is a cultural history à la Mark Kurlansky’s “Salt.’’ German historian Joachim Radkau is an affable guide, skeptical of claims by environmentalists that wood is about to disappear. Beginning with Stone Age hunters, “Wood’’ winds through time, touching on medieval cathedrals, the Industrial Revolution, the timber industry, and the impact of IKEA. Radkau is clear-eyed about the challenges of his project: “If one writes a history of wood filled with enthusiasm for the material, one finds oneself asking why it does not rule the world, instead of being driven out by other materials.’’

Loading comments...

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of