Imagine what the world would be like without concrete: there’d be no high-rises, no grand irrigation projects, no lettuce from southern climes in the winter, no multi-lane highways crisscrossing continents, a shortage of electricity, more mud in some places, more solitude in others. But because of the fossil fuels and other resources required to make concrete, there also would be less CO2 in the atmosphere and less dramatic climate change. In Concrete: From Ancient Origins to a Problematic Future, Soderstrom tells the story of concrete’s glorious past, extravagant present, and uncertain future with careful research, lively anecdotes, and thoughtful reflection. The framework for this exploration is one the Romans—famous for concrete structures that are still strong—would understand: the four elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air.
About the author
Mary Soderstrom is the author of five previous novels: The Violets of Usambara (2008); After Surfing Ocean Beach (2004); The Words on the Wall, (1998), Endangered Species (1995), which was a finalist for the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction; and The Descent of Andrew McPherson (1977), a finalist for the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her collections of short stories include Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography (2013), The Truth Is (2000) and Finding the Enemy (1997), which was also a finalist for the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of several works of creative non-fiction, including Green City: People, Nature and Urban Places, a Globe and Mail best book of 2007. Originally from Washington State, she grew up in San Diego before eventually moving to Montreal, which she has made home for decades.
Other titles by Mary Soderstrom
Love and Hate between Neighbo(u)ring States
Road Through Time
The Story of Humanity on the Move
The Continuing Portuguese Adventure
The Walkable City
From Haussman’s Boulevards to Jane Jacobs' Streets and Beyond
Walkable City, The
From Haussmann’s Boulevards to Jane Jacobs’ Streets and Beyond
The Violets of Usambara
People, Nature and Urban Life
After Surfing Ocean Beach
A Natural History of Botanical Gardens