BOOM, BUST, BOOM
Book Topics
Environmental issues
copper
copper mining
mining history/world
mining history/US
1872 Mining/ Grazing Act
surface removal mining
stock market
precious metals
heavy metals
alternative energy
Bisbee
Az
Freeport MacMoran
Phelps Dodge
Amazon Paperback
BAM Paperback
Barnes & Noble Paperback
Indiebound Paperback
Powell's Paperback

BOOM, BUST, BOOM : A Story About Copper, the Metal that Runs the World

When journalist Bill Carter discovers traces of arsenic in the soil of his family garden, residue from a century of copper mining in the small town of Bisbee,Arizona, he sets out to learn as much as he can about this metal, its unique properties and the vital role it plays in our lives. In his search, he discovers its many potential hazards, both to our health and to the environment, and after detailed research and scores of interviews with miners, scientists, financiers, and CEO's, he weighs the pros and cons of this valuable research that so enriches our lives despite the grave risk that surface removal mining poses upon the world's last remaining wild places, our water, and our health. With crisp, informative prose and insightful personal observations, combined with Carter's dogged persistence to learn the truth, Boom, Bust, Boom joins the ranks of the works of Barry Lopez, John McPhee, and Bill McKibben as an enduring classic of environmental journalism.
Book Topics
Environmental issues
copper
copper mining
mining history/world
mining history/US
1872 Mining/ Grazing Act
surface removal mining
stock market
precious metals
heavy metals
alternative energy
Bisbee
Az
Freeport MacMoran
Phelps Dodge

Reviews and Comments

  • "Boom, Bust, Boom, if you pardon the wordplay, booms. It pops off the page as adventure, troubling history, ecological warning, travel narrative, even a bit of horror."
    Foreword by bestselling author (The Devil's Highway and The Hummingbird's Daughter)
  • "Bill Carter has extracted something that remains all but unnoticed by most people-copper-and told and incredible story about this amazing metal. Boom, Bust, Boom is the best sort of journalism: beautifully written, rich in detail, and impossible to ignore. I particularly love how Carter wove a personal story into a topic of global scope. I know, as a writer, how hard that is to pull off, and as a reader I am always amazed when someone does. It is a superb book."
    Author of The Perfect Storm and War
  • "Bill Carter's new book is utterly engaging. I want to use the words fabulous and hearty. We often think we know the world, but then we read a book that tells us we didn't. Carter is a determined investigative journalist and shows the grave dangers the copper industry carelessly exposes us to. A necessary read for thinking Americans."
    Author of Legends of the Fall and Brown Dog
  • "Copper is the curse of the Southwest. Bill Carter's blazing book takes us to the crime scene where our lust for things murders the Earth. Time to kill the cell phone, leave Twitter to the twits, and listen up."
    Author of Murder City
  • "Boom, Bust, Boom, is Carter's powerful narrative about his pursuit of "the metal that runs the world" and how far we will go to get it. Carter is not a preacher of environmentalism nor a corporate apologist. He just wants to understand."
    DAILY BEAST
  • "Carter's scope is large, but his storytelling technique is up-close and personal. In the end, the author decided to move his family out of his beloved Bisbee to escape the threat of a reopened copper mine, but he makes it abundantly clear that there is, for our modern society, no escape from dependence on copper. A well-told, fact-filled story written with a touch of fury and a dash of regret."
  • "Face to face with environmental risk, Mr. Carter is determined to learn more about copper. He quickly stumbled upon a paradox: Copper mining may be an environmental disaster, leaving behind mountains of waste laced with heavy metals and polluting rivers with the remains of the chemicals used to separate copper from ore, but it is also an environmental necessity."
  • "This well-researched narrative describes how copper is found in all corners of the world and every facet of our lives. The author journeys to towns in Arizona and Alaska where the specter of new copper mining has drawn battle lines between people who are concerned about the loss of beloved landscapes and those interested in boosting the local economy... Boom, Bust, Boom is written like a good documentary, exposing the author's struggle to find answers through his own personal journey... Through Carter's eyes, we are reminded of our inextricable link to this landscape-altering resource- and the consequences of our dependence."
  • "Masquerading as the story of his personal journey from Bisbee to Flagstaff, Boom Bust Boom is a riveting expose of the bounty and devastation that is copper -one of the most ubiquitous elements in the modern world. From copper's myriad everyday uses to the inevitable contamination that accompanies its production in the most massive open-pit mines on the planet, Carter skillfully lays out the arc of his investigation, seamlessly woven into a series of stories, full of personal, historical, and technical information, that lead inexorably to the question iBOOM, BUST, BOOM whether we can control our appetite for this critical element in order to protect the people and natural resources that make life on Earth worth living."
    HUFFINGTON POST
  • "Threaded through his richly textured account are two existential questions. The first, prompted by his anxiety about Freeport's future plans, is like the old song by the Clash: "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" The second is whether he can reconcile his mounting disgust with copper with the reality that avoiding it "would take nothing short of a monastic effort.""
  • "Bill Carter's "Boom, Bust, Boom" is an idiosyncratic but compelling examination of the mining of copper, which is vital to modern communications, but at a daunting environmental cost."
  • "This volume on copper may be the most important book you'll read all year. Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story About Copper, the Metal That Runs the World emerged from one of those "A ha!" moments, when you wake up one day and suddenly smell the coffee."