Franklyn M(ansfield) Branley Norman Metzger - Essay

Norman Metzger

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Although marred by an apocalyptic start, in which an alternative future of feast versus famine is limned, [Feast or Famine? The Energy Future] does a creditable job of presenting a melange of information on energy—its uses, sources and forms. The child reading this might wonder how that view fits with what is actually happening now: reduced oil consumption, vigorous energy conservation, in short, a future in which the manner of our lives is basically retained, albeit with energy thrift becoming a norm of transportation planning, housing design and industrial manufacturing. There are occasional gee whizzes ("within a few decades, people will not need to 'go shopping'") and some asides spurious to the intent of the book ("the race to produce the biggest bombs, the fastest planes, the most powerful tanks, the heaviest and fastest ships is nonsense"). These blemishes are, however, redeemed by the author's overall effect: accurate, reasonably fair, and for the most part, providing a careful description and assessment of various energy options. The part on nuclear fission power is particularly well done, one that might even satisfy both sides of that debate.

Norman Metzger, "Children's Reviews: 'Feast or Famine? The Energy Future'," in Science Books & Films (copyright 1981 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science), Vol. 16, No. 5 (May/June, 1981), p. 273.