Elixir : A History of Water and Humankind


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In "Elixir," "New York Times "bestselling author Brian Fagan tells the story of our most vital resource and how it has shaped our history, from ancient Mesopotamia to the parched present of the Sunbelt. Fagan relates how every human society has been shaped by its relationship to our most essential resource. This 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. As the earth's population approaches nine billion and ancient aquifers run dry, we once again remember the importance of this vital resource. To solve the water crises of the future, we may need to adapt the water ethos of our ancestors, captured here in rich detail by Brian Fagan.

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  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 139.7 x 208.28 x 27.94mm | 317.51g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations, figures
  • 1608193373
  • 9781608193370
  • 608,441

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"Eye-opening . . . Making sense of water and its place in the development of civilization . . . [Fagan] understands how the ancients struggled with changing climate and that what matters has always been the fluctuating availability of water, rather than shifting temperatures. That is an important lesson for us now." "--Washington Post ""A rewarding survey of water's role in history and contemporary politics alike." --"Kirkus Reviews"

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About Professor of Anthropology Brian M Fagan

Brian Fagan is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of" Cro-Magnon," the "New York Times "bestseller "The Great Warming," and many other books, including "Fish on Friday: Feasting, Fasting and the Discovery of the New World "and several books on climate history, including "The Little Ice Age" and "The Long Summer."

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