Ed Conway is a writer and broadcaster. He is the Economics and Data Editor of Sky News and a regular columnist for The Times and Sunday Times. He has written two critically acclaimed and bestselling books and has won numerous awards for his journalism, including the Wincott Foundation Journalist of the Year Award – the most prestigious award in British financial journalism.
Ed studied at Pembroke College, Oxford and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where he was a Fulbright scholar and a Shorenstein Scholar. He lives in London.
Material World: A Substantial Story of Our Past and Future
A compelling narrative of the human story
Lively, rich and exciting... full of surprises. Underlines that to understand global geopolitics, you need to understand natural resources and geology
Expansive, erudite, and edifying. A stunning insight into the materials that shaped our history and built the modern world
Fascinating, fun, and vitally important. A wonderful exploration of the world we've built yet somehow manage to ignore
A stunning book that will transform the way you think about economics and life. Brilliantly written
In Material World, Ed Conway uncovers the hidden history of the materials that structure our world. Full of colourful characters and fascinating connections, Material World shows how the seemingly simplest materials - from sand to salt to iron - require unbelievably complex refining and processing before arriving at their final form. Absorbing storytelling... Fascinating and insightful
Conway's gripping explanation of a world you didn't know needed explaining deserves this highest of accolades: Material World, once read, leaves us baffled that nobody ever thought of writing it before
Ed Conway is a great thinker... Material World is an engrossing study of the basic substances on which we all depend. Anyone who cares about the resources which built our world and where mankind is heading must read this vital book
A masterful exploration of how materials shape our world more than ever - economically, geopolitically and environmentally
A highly engaging and important look at the key materials powering our modern world, and how we feed our insatiable appetite for them
Fascinating and forensic in equal measure... reveals the web of mining and manufacturing that underpins the lives of everyone on the planet
Sand, salt, iron, copper, oil and lithium. They built our world, and they will transform our future.
These are the six most crucial substances in human history. They took us from the Dark Ages to the present day. They power our computers and phones, build our homes and offices, and create life-saving medicines. But most of us take them completely for granted.
In Material World, Ed Conway travels the globe - from the sweltering depths of the deepest mine in Europe, to spotless silicon chip factories in Taiwan, to the eerie green pools where lithium originates - to uncover a secret world we rarely see. Revealing the true marvel of these substances, he follows the mind-boggling journeys, miraculous processes and little-known companies that turn the raw materials we all need into products of astonishing complexity.
As we wrestle with climate change, energy crises and the threat of new global conflict, Conway shows why these substances matter more than ever before, and how the hidden battle to control them will shape our geopolitical future. This is the story of civilisation - our ambitions and glory, innovations and appetites - from a new perspective: literally from the ground up.
The Summit: The Biggest Battle of the Second World War - fought behind closed doors
Brimming with the sort of vivid details that make the past come alive, The Summit is both an impressive work of scholarship and an absolute delight to read
What makes Conway's account distinctive is that it is such good fun... his jolly, colourful account makes a perfect introduction to one of the most important meetings of the past century
History with scholarship and verve... This is a ripe, resounding story, brilliantly told
Keynes's charisma and wit enliven the excellent narrative of Ed Conway
As a case study in how to wrangle diplomats and politicians, Bretton Woods is without peer and it is harder to imagine a book that better shows why than The Summit
An entertaining and insightful history. Readers will love how Conway skillfully brings to life the goings-on in what the British snobbily called 'the monstrous monkey house' of Bretton Woods
Utterly absorbing, minutely researched . . . The picture so gloriously painted here is of a three-week, intellect-sapping, emotionally-draining roller-coaster
Who would have thought that an account of an economic summit could be so absorbing? But it was no ordinary summit and Ed Conway's is an exceptional account
The idea of world leaders gathering in the midst of economic crisis has become all too familiar. But the meeting at Bretton Woods in 1944 was different. It was the only time countries from around the world have agreed to overhaul the structure of the international monetary system. Against all odds, they were successful. The system they set up presided over the longest, strongest and most stable period of growth the world economy has ever seen. Its demise some decades later was at least partly responsible for the periodic economic crises that culminated in the financial collapse of the 2000s.
But what everyone has always assumed to be a dry economic conference was in fact replete with drama. The delegates spent half the time at each other's throats and the other half drinking in the hotel bar. The Russians nearly capsized the entire project. The French threatened to walk out, repeatedly. All the while war in Europe raged on.
At the very heart of the conference was the love-hate relationship between the Briton John Maynard Keynes, the greatest economist of his day, who suffered a heart attack at the conference itself and who was a true worldwide celebrity - and his American counterpart Harry Dexter White (later revealed to be passing information secretly to Russian spies). Both were intent on creating an economic settlement which would put right the wrongs of Versailles. Both were working to prevent a World War Three. But they were also working to defend their countries' national interests.
Drawing on a wealth of unpublished accounts, diaries and oral histories, this brilliant book describes the conference in stunning colour and clarity. Bringing to life the characters, events and economics and written with exceptional verve and narrative pace, this is an extraordinary debut from a talented new writer.