Cool by Salvatore Basile

Basile, Salvatore. Cool: How Air Conditioning Changed Everything. New York: Fordham UP, 2016. Print.

In his book, Salvatore Basile chronicles the lengthy and sometimes surprising history behind the air conditioner. The book begins during a time before air conditioning and paints the image of a world without air conditioning, which is actually pretty hard to do. Basile explores many different events in human history and how they have been affected by the creation of air conditioner technology. Basile also outlines the process of how this technology was created, beginning with John Gorrie’s attempt at creating a machine to cool the air. John Gorrie’s machine later evolved and become a device that produced ice simply from water (Back then ice was only available by going to icy areas and bringing the ice back to the US). This was a big deal back in Gorrie’s time. Although Gorrie’s machine was a game-changer, his attempts at making this machine publicly available, he was sabotaged by the ice industry who didn’t want a competitor disrupting their profits. It wasn’t until John Carrier developed what would become the Carrier Air Conditioner that AC became available to the public.

Cool is a detailed account of the AC’s history. Salvatore’s book will most likely serve as my main resource for this paper. Salvatore’s book also includes many pictures of the different versions of the technologies discussed in the book. The book also includes a long list of references that I can also look at for further research.


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