Caveman Chemistry

Idiosyncratic and irreverent, Caveman Chemistry is like no other chemistry textbook that I know of. What textbook that you’ve read quotes regularly from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trimegistus? It is authored not only by Kevin Dunn but also four figments of his imagination representing the classical elements who have leapt from mind to mind down through history and do their best to make the leap out of the book and into yours. You learn the history of chemical technology through a series of hands-on projects that demand that you get your hands dirty making things from scratch: fire, paper, glass, soap, batteries, photographs, polyester, and others. The book does not shy away from potentially dangerous projects like making gunpowder, alcohol, and chlorine gas, trusting that readers are capable of all due caution.

The book gave me a greater appreciation for the sources for the products that I use on a daily basis. Rather than being conjured out of thin air, the stuff in my life has its origin in the natural world. ★★★★★