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Humanity's taming of fire may be where the story of economics really begins, some argue. Tim Harford explores how fire has shaped our world and our minds, and why it's still got some important lessons to teach us.

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10 minutes


Surrounded by Forest Fires - E. C. Pulaski, Forest History

The Great Fire of 1910

Fire on Earth - an introduction. Andrew C. Scott, David M. J. S. Bowman, William J. Bond, Stephen J. Pyne, Martin E. Alexander, Wiley Blackwell 2014

Burning Planet: The Story of Fire Through Time - Andrew C. Scott, Oxford University Press 2018

Savanna, Not Forest, Was Human Ancestors' Proving Ground - Live Science

Who Started The First Fire? - Sapiens

The discovery of fire by humans: A long and convoluted process, J. A. J. Gowlett - The Royal Society

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human - Richard Wrangham, Profile Books 2009

Firing up the Social Brain, J. A. J. Gowlett - ResearchGate

Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe - Greg Ip, Hachette UK 2015