Elixir A History of Water and Humankind

ISBN-10: 1608193373

ISBN-13: 9781608193370

Edition: N/A

Authors: Brian Fagan
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Description: Elixirspans five millennia, from ancient Mesopotamia to the parched present of the Sun Belt. As Brian Fagan shows, every human society has been shaped by its relationship to our most essential resource. Fagan's sweeping narrative moves across the world, from ancient Greece and Rome, whose mighty aqueducts still supply modern cities, to China, where emperors marshaled armies of laborers in a centuries-long struggle to tame powerful rivers.He sets out three ages of water: In the first age, lasting thousands of years, water was scarce or at best unpredictable-so precious that it became sacred in almost every culture. By the time of the Industrial Revolution, human ingenuity had made water flow even in the most arid landscapes.This was the second age: water was no longer a mystical force to be worshipped and husbanded, but a commodity to be exploited. The American desert glittered with swimming pools- with little regard for sustainability.Today, we are entering a third age of water: As the earth's population approaches nine billion and ancient aquifers run dry,we will have to learn once again to show humility, even reverence, for this vital liquid. To solve the water crises of the future, we may need to adapt the water ethos of our ancestors.

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Book details

List price: $18.00
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Publication date: 6/12/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Preface
Author's Note
Canals, Furrows, and Rice Paddies
The Elixir of Life
Farmers and Furrows
"Whoever Has a-Channel Has a Wife"
Hohokam: "Something That Is All Gone"
The Power of the Waters
Waters from Afar
Landscapes of Enlil
The Lands of Enki
"I Caused a Canal to Be Cut"
The Waters of Zeus
Aquae Romae
Cisterns and Monsoons
Waters That Purify
China's Sorrow
Ancient American Hydrologists
The Water Lily Lords
Triumphs of Gravity
Gravity and Beyond
The Waters of Islam
"Lifting Power … More Certain than That of a Hundred Men"
Mastery?
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index
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