In Floods, Famines, and Emperors, Brian Fagan shows that these events were neither isolated nor new. El Nio has been disrupting weather patterns on and off for some five millennia--perhaps much longer-- sometimes with catastrophic effects on civilizations. Integrating climate science, archaeology, history, and the superb writing of a natural storyteller, Fagan shows how the systemic interaction of climate, land, and people have shaped culture since the dawn of time: El Ni"o droughts have brought on the collapse of dynasties in ancient Egypt; El Ni"o monsoon failures have caused historic famines in India, while El Ni"o floods have destroyed entire civilizations in Peru, and changed the course of European exploration.
The material that comprises Floods, Famines, and Emperor is only now beginning to be discussed in scientific symposia. But Fagan has not written a dry, academic text. This book is a lucid, fascinating, and thoroughly readable account of climate and culture for history buffs, archaeology enthusiasts, the growing legions of weather watchers, and science readers of all kinds....Continua