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A fascinating history of the world's changing climate, and how it has shaped our civilization Humanity evolved in an Ice Age in which glaciers covered much of the world. But starting about 15,000 years ago, temperatures began to climb. Civilization and all of recorded history occurred in this warm period, the era known as the Holocene - the long summer of the human species. In The Long Summer, Brian Fagan brings us the first detailed record of climate change during these 15,000 years of warming, and shows how this climate change gave rise to civilization. A thousand-year chill led people in the Near East to take up the cultivation of plant foods; a catastrophic flood drove settlers to inhabit Europe; the drying of the Sahara forced its inhabitants to live along the banks of the Nile; and increased rainfall in East Africa provoked the bubonic plague. The Long Summer illuminates for the first time the centuries-long pattern of human adaptation to the demands and challenges of an ever-changing climate - challenges that are still with us today.
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About the Author

Brian Fagan is one of the world's leading archaeological writers, and is author of Floods, Famines, and Emperors and The Little Ice Age and the editor of The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Reviews

Fagan (anthropology, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) is an author with many books to his credit, including two that focus on the impact of climatic conditions upon historical developments. In his latest exploration of this subject, Fagan looks at the effect of rising temperatures over the past 15,000 years and how this has influenced human civilizations. While most of human evolution occurred during the Ice Age, it is only when glaciers started to recede and temperatures and sea levels started to rise that humans invented agricultural techniques, which led them to build permanent cities and communities. Recent analysis of climate records during this warm period (the Holocene) provides the framework against which historical transitions are now being studied. Fagan postulates that changes due to warming led to the cattle-herding culture among ancient Egyptians and the Masai; Middle Eastern droughts spawned plant cultivation; rising sea levels created the Persian Gulf and Fertile Crescent, which generated the rise of Mesopotamia. Extremely readable and thought-provoking, this book should appeal to many people, including those concerned with global warming and its implications for the future. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Gloria Maxwell, Penn Valley Community Coll. Lib., Kansas City, MO Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Extremely readable and thought-provoking, this book should appeal to many people, including those concerned with global warming and its implications for the future." Library Journal"

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