The Roots of Progress

Outline: Making the Modern World

An outline of Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, by Vaclav Smil, Chapters 2 & 3.

Chapter 1 is an introduction where he discusses methodology: what he is including in his survey and why. Chapters 2 gives the history of materials, and Chapter 3 a survey of material use today. Those are the most important for my purposes.

Chapter 2: How We Got Here

2.1 Materials Used by Organisms

Skipping this as it is not relevant to my study.

2.2 Materials in Prehistory

2.3 Ancient and Medieval Materials

2.4 Materials in the Early Modern Era

2.5 Creating Modern Material Civilization

2.6 Materials in the Twentieth Century

Chapter 3: What Matters Most

3.1 Biomaterials

3.2 Construction Materials

Mostly clay and concrete

3.3 Metals

3.4 Plastics

3.5 Industrial Gases

3.6 Fertilizers

3.7 Materials in Electronics