Blame It On the Rain: How the Weather Has Changed History
HarperCollins, 2006 (2006)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
alking about the weather is a great way to start a conversation but as the author notes in her introduction, '
the winds have a power to shape nations and cultures. Overcast skies impact our outlook and our expectations. The rains have the power to alter our moods, politics, hospital admissions, and even change history. Talking about the weather wasn't always seen as trivial. For our ancestors, being in tune with nature was not a matter of choice but of necessity. The weather determined when to sail, when to sow, when to forage and when to venture into the wilderness. It was a matter of life and death. Great social upheavals often followed periods of extreme weather ... governments toppled due to weather-induced plagues, riots were set off by extreme heat, and religious panics brought on by lightning strikes
rue to her word, Lee takes a walk through history pointing out well known and often not so well known times when Mother Nature played a major role in shaping history and defining how events played out. Lee begins with Noah's flood and presents convincing research suggesting that the cradle of civilization was not washed away by God's wrath but rather by a torrent of sea water that came rushing over a collapsed natural dam. She explains how Australia may have been populated, and discusses how Kublai Khan failed not once but twice to invade Japan after his thousand strong fleet was decimated by killer typhoons. She tells us that it may have been a Little Ice Age that was responsible for the Stradivarius violin's tone and brilliance. She also talks about how modern warfare has often
with the weather and how humans continue tinkering, perhaps to our peril: '
history has demonstrated time and time again one simple truth: nature does not carry a passport. It rains down on everyone and everything with equal unconcern - the rich as well as the poor, the mighty as well as the small ... in a world of nations and states, weather is the great equalizer, reminding us from time to time that we share the world and the air knows no boundaries
ee's easy style and her short, snappy and information-packed chapters will keep you flipping pages. Whether you're a history or weather buff,
Blame It On the Rain
presents a fascinating, surprising and sometimes bizarre look at how weather has shaped and influenced human history, with both good and bad results.
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