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Throwing Fire: Projectile Technology Through History

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Throwing Fire: Projectile Technology Through History Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Throwing Fire, historian Alfred W. Crosby looks at hard, accurate throwing and the manipulation of fire as unique human capabilities. Humans began throwing rocks in prehistory and then progressed to javelins, atlatls, bows and arrows. We learned to make fire by friction and used it to cook, drive game, burn out rivals, and alter landscapes to our liking. Our exploitation of these two capabilities figured in the extinction of many species, and may have played a role in the demise of Neanderthals. In historic times we invented catapults, trebuchets, and such flammable liquids as Greek Fire, a napalm-like substance that stuck to whatever it hit and could not be extinguished with water. About 1,000 years ago we invented gunpowder, which led to guns and rockets, enabling us to literally throw fire. Gunpowder weaponry accelerated the rise of empires and the advance of European imperialism. In the 20th century, gunpowder weaponry enabled us to achieve unprecedented mayhem--the most destructive wars of all time. This trend peaked at the end of World War II with the V-2 and atomic bomb, at which point species suicide became possible. Faced with possible extinction should we experience World War III, we have turned our projectile talents to space travel which may make it possible for our species to migrate to other bodies of our solar system and even other star systems. Alfred W. Crosby is the author of the widely popular and ground-breaking books The Measure of Reality (Cambridge, 1996), America's Forgotten Pandemic (Cambridge, 1990) and Ecological Imperialism (Cambridge, 1986). He taught at the University of Texas, Austin for over 20 years. His books have received the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, the Medical Writers Association Prize and been named by the Los Angeles Times as among the best books of the year.

Book News Annotation:

Crosby (American studies, history, and geography, U. of Texas-Austin) begins with the Pliocene, when the Australopithecines seem first to have walked upright and so potentially could throw things more easily than their primarily quadruped relatives. He brings the story up to the throwing of spaceships at other celestial bodies.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

A history of hard, accurate throwing and the manipulation of fire as unique human capabilities.

Synopsis:

In Throwing Fire, historian Alfred W. Crosby looks at hard, accurate throwing and the manipulation of fire as unique human capabilities, allowing us to create simple weapons, atomic bombs, and to venture into space. He examines the effects of throwing fire on life on our planet, including species extinctions, the rise of empires and the advance of European Imperialism, and the peril of destructive wars. Throwing fire, which might make Earth uninhabitable for humans, may make it possible for migration to other bodies of our solar system.

Synopsis:

A history of hard, accurate throwing and the manipulation of fire as unique human capabilities.

Table of Contents

Part I. Who, Why, and How: 1. The Pliocene: something new is afoot; Part II. The First Acceleration, The First Projectiles: 2. The Pliocene and Pleistocene: 'you are what you throw'; 3. The Pleistocene and Holocene 'cooking the Earth'; 4. The Upper Paleolithic: 'humanity and other disasters'; 5. From weapon craftsmanship to weapon technology; Part III. The Second Acceleration: Gunpowder: 6. The Chinese elixir; 7. Gunpowder as centripetal force; 8. Brown Bess to Big Bertha; Part IV. The Third Acceleration: Into Extraterrestrial and Subatomic Space: 9. The V-2 and the bomb; 10. The longest throws; Part V. The Fourth Acceleration.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780521791588
Author:
Crosby, Alfred W.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Author:
Crosby, Alfred W.
Location:
Cambridge, U.K.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Military - General
Subject:
Military Science
Subject:
History
Subject:
World
Subject:
Projectiles
Subject:
Projectiles -- History.
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Military - Weapons
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series Volume:
0-1854
Publication Date:
20020431
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
218
Dimensions:
9.26x6.26x.84 in. 1.00 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Engineering » Civil Engineering » Explosives
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
History and Social Science » Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » Weapons » General
Reference » Words Phrases and Language
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Technology

Throwing Fire: Projectile Technology Through History Used Hardcover
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Product details 218 pages Cambridge University Press - English 9780521791588 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A history of hard, accurate throwing and the manipulation of fire as unique human capabilities.
"Synopsis" by , In Throwing Fire, historian Alfred W. Crosby looks at hard, accurate throwing and the manipulation of fire as unique human capabilities, allowing us to create simple weapons, atomic bombs, and to venture into space. He examines the effects of throwing fire on life on our planet, including species extinctions, the rise of empires and the advance of European Imperialism, and the peril of destructive wars. Throwing fire, which might make Earth uninhabitable for humans, may make it possible for migration to other bodies of our solar system.
"Synopsis" by , A history of hard, accurate throwing and the manipulation of fire as unique human capabilities.
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