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Distributed for Reaktion Books


Nature and Culture

Distributed for Reaktion Books


Nature and Culture

Gales, cyclones, blizzards, tornados, and hurricanes—few things demonstrate the awesome power of nature like a good storm. Devastating, diverse, and sometimes appearing completely out of nowhere, storms are also a source of both scientific and aesthetic wonder. In this book, John Withington takes an in-depth and unique look at the nature of storms and the impact that they have—both physical and cultural—on our lives.
            Withington shows how storms have changed the course of human history. From Roman times to the modern day, he shows how their devastating effects have wiped out entire communities, changed the fates of battle, and even reset the entire planet. He also shows how beneficial they have been to us: as an important feature of our atmosphere and climate, but also as a source of inspiration for nearly every artist who has ever lived, from Homer to Rembrandt, in works from the Old Testament to Robinson Crusoe. Beautifully illustrated, this book offers a fascinating look at Earth’s most fearsome events.

224 pages | 70 color plates, 30 halftones | 5 3/4 x 8 1/4 | © 2016

Earth Sciences: Meteorology

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“Beautifully illustrated, this is a lively and informative study of the power of nature, and a reminder—for all of humanity’s industrial and military might—that in a straight fight between elemental weather forces and ourselves, the weather will win every time.”

Eastern Daily Press

Storm is not a scientific treatise but a scientific, social, and cultural overview of the natural phenomena of influential storms throughout the course of history. Withington (an award-winning journalist and a historian) divides his book into aspects of different human interactions with storms. . . . Beautifully illustrated with many color photographs and art reproductions, Storm could serve as a basic introduction to the phenomena, history, and effects of notable storms ranging from sandstorms to blizzards to hurricanes, dating as far back as 524 BC. . . . It will be of great interest to a wide variety of readers. Recommended.”


"A strikingly illustrated book that takes an in-depth look at the nature of storms and their impact on our lives. We tend to think of storms as being inherently destructive, but they can also benefit humanity in many ways—by evening out global temperatures, for example, providing rain and clearing out old trees to make way for new. This is a fascinating book from one of Britain’s leading 'disaster historians.'"

Methodist Recorder

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