Storm Nature and Culture

Author(s): John Withington

Reaktion Books | No Category

Storms affect our lives in many remarkable and dangerous ways. Gales, hurricanes, cyclones, blizzards, tornados, hail and sand and dust storms regularly demonstrate the awesome power of nature that all of us experience in some form. But what causes them? What role have they played in our history, religion and the arts? And will climate change make them even more powerful?This strikingly illustrated book takes an in-depth and unique look at the nature of storms and their impact on our lives. It shows how storms have changed the course of history, playing a decisive role in major battles and momentous revolutions from Roman times to the modern day. It describes the deadliest storms in history, such as the Bangladesh cyclone of 1970 that killed perhaps a million people, and explains how humans have tried to control storms through religion, superstition and science. Despite their potent ability to cause destruction, storms also benefit humanity. Storm describes the major role they have played in the arts, from Shakespeare's plays to novels such as Robinson Crusoe and famous works of art by Rembrandt, Constable, Monet, Munch and Turner. It describes how storms even out global temperatures, providing rain and clearing out old trees to make way for new, and considers what will happen to storms in the future. Fully illustrated and brilliantly written, Storm is the first book to cover all aspects of these natural phenomena.


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“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.”

– Choice  (JC BookGrocer)

John Withington is an award-winning television journalist and one of Britain's leading disaster historians. He is the author of Flood: Nature and Culture (Reaktion, 2013), A Disastrous History of the World (2008) and London's Disasters (2011).

General Fields

  • : 9781780236612
  • : Reaktion Books, Limited
  • : Reaktion Books, Limited
  • : 0.408
  • : September 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : John Withington
  • : Paperback
  • : 224