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What is steel? How does it work? Why has it been so important? Who are the people who make it? How do they make it? Steel: From Mine to Mill, the Metal that Made America answers these questions. Improperly understood until about 150 years ago and available until then only in small quantities, the metal itself is a delicate dance of iron crystals interspersed with carbon and, depending on intended service, other elements such as nickel, chromium, and molybdenum. Once deciphered, steel began to flow from hearths in increasing amounts for the building of railroads, steel ships, skyscrapers, and bridges, in the process raising to world economic dominance Great Britain, Germany, the United States, Japan, and the Soviet Union.