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Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
When the volcano Tambora erupted in Indonesia in 1815, as many as 100,000 people perished as a result of the blast and an ensuing famine caused by the destruction of rice fields on Sumbawa and neighboring islands. Gases and dust particles ejected into the atmosphere changed weather patterns around the world, resulting in the infamous ''year without a summer'' in North Amer ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 21st 2004 by Princeton University Press (first published 2001)
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Jun 07, 2016 Stephen rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, science, geology
As with "Earthquakes in Human History", this is exactly as it describes itself. A mix of science and history, the authors begin with an explanation of volcanic activity before moving on to cover a few key eruptions. Volcanoes illustrate that the world is constantly remaking itself, forming and destroying islands as the years go by. Like "Earthquakes", "Volcanoes" is most commendable as a collection of the immediate impact of various eruptions, supplemented by scientific explanations. The most 'f ...more
Amy Raby
Jan 18, 2013 Amy Raby rated it really liked it
I read this for research. This book is a mix of science and history. Each chapter covers a major volcanic eruption in human history, from Thera, which destroyed the Minoan civilization and allowed the Greeks to rise up in their place, to Vesuvius, to Mt. St. Helens. Hawaii and Iceland, regions of high volcanic activity, are also discussed.

Each chapter covers both the science of what makes a particular region volcanically active--which tectonic plates are at work and how--and what type of eruptio
Feb 17, 2011 Rick rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was the equivalent of an impulse purchase done at the library.
It was a good one. Just the right amount of details of these volcanic disasters from Thera to Mt. St. Helens. Tidbits: Tambora in 1815 was far more powerful than the later Krakatau in the same area of the world. Many of the tragic deaths from Mount Pelee were avoidable. The authors brought out the humanity of these tectonic-prompted blasts. Maps, drawings, photos were all helpful. Nicely done.
Julien Rapp
Aug 27, 2014 Julien Rapp rated it really liked it
Shelves: earth-science
I read this book at the same time as Earthquakes in Human History. They are a good set and I reccommend both to anyone interested in how geological forces helped shape our history.
Oct 29, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Picked this up for the chapter on Tristan da Cunha. Cool info, I'll probably page through the rest of the book as well.
Sep 18, 2013 james rated it really liked it
I recommend this book since it combines science and story telling in a coherent manner. The reader learns about the effects of volcanoes on the lives of people both near and far. For example, the eruption of Tambora (in present day Indonesia) caused immediate death & destruction to those living nearby. But the aftermath was even worse as Tambora spewed so much volcanic ash and debris into the atmosphere that there was an immediate global cooing to such a degree that the following year was kn ...more
Apr 05, 2016 Sandi rated it really liked it
This is a book about volcanoes and how they affected humans
Aug 11, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it
So with a) my rediscovery of the local libraries and b) my having to sit still 1/2 hour a day...(don't ask)...I've been reading more...

Loved this book. Volcanoes are just cool and this book went through 8 significant (though sometimes not sizable) eruptions, including one on Tristan da Cunha, which is this teeny island in the middle of the Atlantic...barely inhabited.

It's just a fun exploration backed up with some serious science about how each volcanic eruption had long last effects on the hist
Louis C Smith
Aug 25, 2016 Louis C Smith rated it it was amazing
human life on the edge
May 12, 2015 Garnet rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book as I am very interested in geology and related earth sciences. The book takes major volcanic eruptions and first explains the processes that happened within the crust, plates and rising magma, as well as the geological record of what happened once the volcano erupted. Next the author explains both the long and short term ramifications of how the eruption affected humans and nature. Myself. I found the geologic processes more interesting than the human equation.
Jun 27, 2011 Renee rated it it was amazing
This book was perfect for my research purposes. Now only does it cover nine famous--and very different--eruptions, throughtout the course of human history, but it also went over how each one affected the people, both locally and across the globe, both before, during and AFTER the event. I absolutely LOVED this book, for the human equation. It is a graphic reminder that, no matter how full of ourselves we get, Mother Nature will always have the upper hand!
Jan 14, 2013 Peter rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
Like its sequel Earthquakes in Human History, which I've reviewed in more detail, this book focuses very heavily on the geological end of its topic while covering the "human history" part of the matter rather cursorily. There are some interesting sections and snippets, but overall I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I had hoped.
Jul 09, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it
This is my favorite kind of academic press book - one with an interesting story that is tightly written and well-conceived. It gives a decent chapter's space to 9 different volcanic eruptions or regions and ties them to long range effects. Interesting stuff.
Dec 04, 2013 Sheila rated it it was amazing
The other books I have on volcanoes deal with volcanoes in general, plate tectonics, etc. This one deal with 10 specific volcanoes and their far-reaching effects on the world and its people.
Jul 26, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting, covers several past and present large Volcanoes...and makes one wonder
What another Tambor or such might do to a world like ours..

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