Interconnection is the theme of Burke’s smart and playful romp through history. Burke sets out to show the meandering nature of innovation. To accomplish that, Burke spins his narrative by explaining how the medieval spice trade eventually led to Edison’s first electric power station which eventually led to the modern smart bomb. In between, Burke also visits coal mining, the science of natural history, Civil War ironclads, the antebellum cotton trade, glass manufacturing, and the development of laser beams. While the logical leaps that Burke pursues may be novel—they are guaranteed to make readers think about the sequence of history in ways they never did before.