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Earthquakes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Seismic Disruptions

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Earthquakes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Seismic Disruptions Cover

ISBN13: 9780691127866
ISBN10: 0691127867
Condition: Student Owned
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On November 1, 1755-All Saints' Day-a massive earthquake struck Europe's Iberian Peninsula and destroyed the city of Lisbon. Churches collapsed upon thousands of worshippers celebrating the holy day. Earthquakes in Human History tells the story of that calamity and other epic earthquakes. The authors, Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Theodore Sanders, recapture the power of their previous book, Volcanoes in Human History. They vividly explain the geological processes responsible for earthquakes, and they describe how these events have had long-lasting aftereffects on human societies and cultures. Their accounts are enlivened with quotations from contemporary literature and from later reports.

In the chaos following the Lisbon quake, government and church leaders vied for control. The Marquê s de Pombal rose to power and became a virtual dictator. As a result, the Roman Catholic Jesuit Order lost much of its influence in Portugal. Voltaire wrote his satirical work Candide to refute the philosophy of optimism, the belief that God had created a perfect world. And the 1755 earthquake sparked the search for a scientific understanding of natural disasters.

Ranging from an examination of temblors mentioned in the Bible, to a richly detailed account of the 1906 catastrophe in San Francisco, to Japan's Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, to the Peruvian earthquake in 1970 (the Western Hemisphere's greatest natural disaster), this book is an unequaled testament to a natural phenomenon that can be not only terrifying but also threatening to humankind's fragile existence, always at risk because of destructive powers beyond our control.

Synopsis:

"Earthquakes in Human History moves through the centuries and across the continents to show how earthquakes have shaped different societies. With a cast of characters that includes God and his ever-feared wrath, Cleopatra, Voltaire, Mark Twain, and the Sandinistas, it is an engaging and at times thrilling tale. I am confident that it will accomplish the authors' goal of nudging scientists to recognize the social and cultural impact of the geosciences and encouraging historians and others to explore scientific explanations for natural disasters."--Charles Walker, University of California, Davis

"Zeilinga de Boer and Sanders have provided us with evidence that natural phenomena, in this case earthquakes, can sometimes have long-term historical consequences in changing the fate of cultures. With examples ranging from biblical to modern times, they show how destructive earthquakes have interacted with wars, religious beliefs, and political movements in changing history. Each account is preceded by a generally accessible account of the geological processes that led to the fateful earthquake. A fascinating read and an antidote to the usual anthropocentric views of history such as that of Arnold Toynbee."--Christopher H. Scholz, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

Synopsis:

On November 1, 1755--All Saints' Day--a massive earthquake struck Europe's Iberian Peninsula and destroyed the city of Lisbon. Churches collapsed upon thousands of worshippers celebrating the holy day. Earthquakes in Human History tells the story of that calamity and other epic earthquakes. The authors, Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Theodore Sanders, recapture the power of their previous book, Volcanoes in Human History. They vividly explain the geological processes responsible for earthquakes, and they describe how these events have had long-lasting aftereffects on human societies and cultures. Their accounts are enlivened with quotations from contemporary literature and from later reports.

In the chaos following the Lisbon quake, government and church leaders vied for control. The Marquês de Pombal rose to power and became a virtual dictator. As a result, the Roman Catholic Jesuit Order lost much of its influence in Portugal. Voltaire wrote his satirical work Candide to refute the philosophy of "optimism," the belief that God had created a perfect world. And the 1755 earthquake sparked the search for a scientific understanding of natural disasters.

Ranging from an examination of temblors mentioned in the Bible, to a richly detailed account of the 1906 catastrophe in San Francisco, to Japan's Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, to the Peruvian earthquake in 1970 (the Western Hemisphere's greatest natural disaster), this book is an unequaled testament to a natural phenomenon that can be not only terrifying but also threatening to humankind's fragile existence, always at risk because of destructive powers beyond our control.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Table of Conversions xv

CHAPTER 1: Earthquakes: Origins and Consequences 1

Sidebar: induced earthquakes

Sidebar: mark twain’s earthquake almanac

CHAPTER 2: In the Holy Land: Earthquakes and the Hand of God 22

CHAPTER 3: The Decline of Ancient Sparta: A Tale of Hoplites, Helots, and a Quaking Earth 45

Sidebar: euripides, homer, and aristotle

CHAPTER 4: Earthquakes in England: Echoes in Religion and Literature 65

CHAPTER 5: The Great Lisbon Earthquake and the Axiom "Whatever Is, Is Right" 88

Sidebar: the wonderful "one-hoss-shay"

CHAPTER 6: New Madrid, Missouri, in 1811: The Once and Future Disaster 108

Sidebar: a disastrous reprise?

CHAPTER 7: Earthquake, Fire, and Politics in San Francisco 139

Sidebar: causes of quakes in the bay area

CHAPTER 8: Japan’s Great Kanto Earthquake: "Hell Let Loose on Earth" 170

Sidebar: the kamakura earthquake of 1257 and the rise of the lotus sect

CHAPTER 9: Peru in 1970: Chaos in the Andes 194

Sidebar: in chile--tsunamis, devastation, and darwin

CHAPTER 10: The 1972 Managua Earthquake: Catalyst for Revolution 221

Afterword 243

Glossary 245

Notes and References 253

Index 269

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Thomas Kirby, November 29, 2006 (view all comments by Thomas Kirby)
Good descriptions of historical earthquakes, tied in with their impact on the course of history. What I remember most about the book is it's discussion of how these major disasters affected religion's hold on the population, and how governments have dealt with (or failed to deal with) the aftermath of a major earthquake.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780691127866
Author:
Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Theodore Sanders
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
de Boer, Jelle Zeilinga
Author:
Zeilinga de Boer, Jelle
Author:
Sanders, Donald Theodore
Author:
Jelle Zeilinga de Boer
Author:
de, Jelle Zeilinga
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
History
Subject:
Natural Disasters
Subject:
Earthquakes
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Geology
Subject:
Earthquakes & Volcanoes
Subject:
Earth Sciences
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
World History/Comparative History
Subject:
Science and civilization
Subject:
Earthquakes - History
Subject:
Geology-Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Subject:
History of Scie
Subject:
nce and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
January 2007
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
39 halftones. 5 line illus. 2 tables.
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 16 oz

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Related Subjects


Science and Mathematics » Geology » Earth Sciences
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General
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Earthquakes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Seismic Disruptions Used Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691127866 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

"Earthquakes in Human History moves through the centuries and across the continents to show how earthquakes have shaped different societies. With a cast of characters that includes God and his ever-feared wrath, Cleopatra, Voltaire, Mark Twain, and the Sandinistas, it is an engaging and at times thrilling tale. I am confident that it will accomplish the authors' goal of nudging scientists to recognize the social and cultural impact of the geosciences and encouraging historians and others to explore scientific explanations for natural disasters."--Charles Walker, University of California, Davis

"Zeilinga de Boer and Sanders have provided us with evidence that natural phenomena, in this case earthquakes, can sometimes have long-term historical consequences in changing the fate of cultures. With examples ranging from biblical to modern times, they show how destructive earthquakes have interacted with wars, religious beliefs, and political movements in changing history. Each account is preceded by a generally accessible account of the geological processes that led to the fateful earthquake. A fascinating read and an antidote to the usual anthropocentric views of history such as that of Arnold Toynbee."--Christopher H. Scholz, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

"Synopsis" by ,

On November 1, 1755--All Saints' Day--a massive earthquake struck Europe's Iberian Peninsula and destroyed the city of Lisbon. Churches collapsed upon thousands of worshippers celebrating the holy day. Earthquakes in Human History tells the story of that calamity and other epic earthquakes. The authors, Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Theodore Sanders, recapture the power of their previous book, Volcanoes in Human History. They vividly explain the geological processes responsible for earthquakes, and they describe how these events have had long-lasting aftereffects on human societies and cultures. Their accounts are enlivened with quotations from contemporary literature and from later reports.

In the chaos following the Lisbon quake, government and church leaders vied for control. The Marquês de Pombal rose to power and became a virtual dictator. As a result, the Roman Catholic Jesuit Order lost much of its influence in Portugal. Voltaire wrote his satirical work Candide to refute the philosophy of "optimism," the belief that God had created a perfect world. And the 1755 earthquake sparked the search for a scientific understanding of natural disasters.

Ranging from an examination of temblors mentioned in the Bible, to a richly detailed account of the 1906 catastrophe in San Francisco, to Japan's Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, to the Peruvian earthquake in 1970 (the Western Hemisphere's greatest natural disaster), this book is an unequaled testament to a natural phenomenon that can be not only terrifying but also threatening to humankind's fragile existence, always at risk because of destructive powers beyond our control.

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