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Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind

by

Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Elixir spans five millennia, from ancient Mesopotamia to the parched present of the Sun Belt. As Brian Fagan shows, every human society has been shaped by its relationship to our most essential resource. Fagan's sweeping narrative moves across the world, from ancient Greece and Rome, whose mighty aqueducts still supply modern cities, to China, where emperors marshaled armies of laborers in a centuries-long struggle to tame powerful rivers.

He sets out three ages of water: In the first age, lasting thousands of years, water was scarce or at best unpredictable-so precious that it became sacred in almost every culture. By the time of the Industrial Revolution, human ingenuity had made water flow even in the most arid landscapes.This was the second age: water was no longer a mystical force to be worshipped and husbanded, but a commodity to be exploited. The American desert glittered with swimming pools- with little regard for sustainability.

Today, we are entering a third age of water: As the earth's population approaches nine billion and ancient aquifers run dry,we will have to learn once again to show humility, even reverence, for this vital liquid. To solve the water crises of the future, we may need to adapt the water ethos of our ancestors.

Synopsis:

In Elixir, New York Times bestselling author Brian Fagan tells the story of our most vital resource and how it has shaped our history, from ancient Mesopotamia to the parched present of the Sunbelt. Fagan relates how every human society has been shaped by its relationship to our most essential resource. This sweeping narrative moves across the world, from ancient Greece and Rome, whose mighty aqueducts still supply modern cities, to China, where emperors marshaled armies of laborers in a centuries-long struggle to tame powerful rivers. As the earths population approaches nine billion and ancient aquifers run dry, we once again remember the importance of this vital resource. To solve the water crises of the future, we may need to adapt the water ethos of our ancestors, captured here in rich detail by Brian Fagan.

About the Author

Brian Fagan is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Cro-Magnon, the New York Times bestseller The Great Warming, and many other books, including Fish on Friday: Feasting, Fasting and the Discovery of the New World and several books on climate history, including The Little Ice Age and The Long Summer.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781608193370
Author:
Fagan, Brian
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Author:
Fagan, Brian M.
Subject:
General Nature
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Subject:
World
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
7.63 x 5.42 x 1.09 in

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Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind New Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781608193370 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

In Elixir, New York Times bestselling author Brian Fagan tells the story of our most vital resource and how it has shaped our history, from ancient Mesopotamia to the parched present of the Sunbelt. Fagan relates how every human society has been shaped by its relationship to our most essential resource. This sweeping narrative moves across the world, from ancient Greece and Rome, whose mighty aqueducts still supply modern cities, to China, where emperors marshaled armies of laborers in a centuries-long struggle to tame powerful rivers. As the earths population approaches nine billion and ancient aquifers run dry, we once again remember the importance of this vital resource. To solve the water crises of the future, we may need to adapt the water ethos of our ancestors, captured here in rich detail by Brian Fagan.

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