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Distributed for Reaktion Books


Nature and Culture

From Niagara Falls in the United States to Angel Falls in Venezuela, Victoria Falls in Africa, and Hannoki Falls in Japan, waterfalls provide some of the world’s loveliest panoramas. With their glistening spray and deafening roar, these astonishing natural wonders attract hordes of people each year who seek out, with cameras in hand, these terrifying and sublime examples of natural beauty.

While waterfalls have often been considered in terms of their picturesque qualities, their rich cultural background has been neglected. In Waterfall, Brian Hudson portrays these marvels in a new light. He explores the many myths and legends waterfalls have inspired in cultures ranging from Native American to Celtic and Indian, and how they have been depicted in art, literature, film, and music. He also examines their influence on architecture and landscape design, as manmade waterfalls begin to be a staple of parks, gardens, and backyard landscaping. Hudson also discusses the ecology of waterfalls and the conflict that arises from their importance as both a source of hydroelectric power and tourist attractions in many countries. As erosion takes its own toll, the additional environmental impacts of human exploitation could be devastating.
A superb addition to the library of any nature lover, this beautifully illustrated book provides a fascinating look at the history and value of these stunning cascades of water.

248 pages | 100 color plates, 10 halftones | 5 4/5 x 8 1/4 | © 2012


Earth Sciences: Oceanography and Hydrology

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“At last, a series of books on the earth for lay people that combine authoritative, succinct, and entertaining narrative with magnificent illustrations. The Earth series will make us marvel anew at the diversity and astounding beauty of the world around us. Each book will take popular understanding of the earth to a new level. No one seriously interested in the future of our planet should be without them.”

Brian M. Fagan, author of The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

“An evocative, well-researched, beautifully illustrated and many-layered exploration of one of our planet’s most compelling natural wonders.”

Margaret Drabble

Waterfall is that rare book on nature, learned and beautifully illustrated, encyclopedic in detail and sweeping in historical, aesthetic, and applied coverage, a ‘must’ not only on the shelf of every nature lover’s library, but also—I might add—on his or her coffee table.”

Yi-Fu Tuan, author of Space and Place

“Richly enhanced by spectacular photographs and artwork. . . . Written in a nontechnical style and have an interdisciplinary, international focus. The high-quality illustrations scattered throughout each chapter are a major strength. The humanities perspective provides a fresh look at two remarkable natural phenomena.” 


Table of Contents


1. Waterfall Lovers and Waterfalling
2. Waterfalls: Birth, Life and Death
3. The Allure of Waterfalls
4. The Beautiful, the Sublime and the Picturesque
5. Waterfalls of Passion, Fountains of Love
6. Paradise and the Hereafter
7. Waterfalls and the Creative Mind: Literature and Art
8. Waterfalls and the Creative Mind: New Directions
9. The Designed Landscape
10. Power and Human Settlements
11. Waterfalls and Tourism
12. Waterfalls Lost, Despoiled and Threatened

Notable Waterfalls
Select Bibliography
Associations and Websites
Photo Acknowledgements

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