The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850

Front Cover
Basic Books, 2000 - History - 246 pages
86 Reviews
Only in the last decade have climatologists developed and accurate picture of yearly climate conditions in historical times. This development confirmed a long-standing suspicion; that the world endured a 500-year cold snap 'The Little Ice Age' that lasted roughly from A.D. 1300 until 1850. 'The Little Age' tells the story of the turbulent, unpredictable and often very cold years of modern European history, how climate altered historical events, and what they mean in the context of today's global warming. With its basis in cutting-edge science, 'The Little Ice Age' offers a new perspective on familiar events. Renowned archaeologist Brian Fagan shows how the increasing cold affected Norse exploration; how changing sea temperatures caused English and Basque fishermen to follow vast shoals of cod all the way to the New World; how a generations-long subsistence crisis in France contributed to social disintegration and ultimately revolution; and how English efforts to improve farm productivity in the face of a deteriorating climate helped pave the way for the Industrial Revolution and hence for global warming. This is a fascinating, original book for anyone interested in history, climate, or the new subject of how they interact.
  

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Fagan is a dynamic writer. - Goodreads
I did not think the writing was really that wonderful. - Goodreads
Lots of detail, not much overview... - Goodreads

Review: The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850

User Review  - Nora Hanagan - Goodreads

The topic of this book—how climate changes shaped European history—is fascinating and I learned a great deal. I thought, however, that the book skipped around a lot, going back and forth in time ... Read full review

Review: The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850

User Review  - Dana Stabenow - Goodreads

A dossier on a 550-year European cold snap compiled from tree rings, ice cores, and the accounts of country clergymen and gentlemen scientists. Do we make the weather, or does it make us? Because the ... Read full review

Contents

The Medieval Warm Period
3
The Great Famine
23
COOLING BEGINS
45
The Climatic Seesaw
47
Storms Cod and Doggers
61
A Vast Peasantry
79
THE END OF THE FULL WORLD
99
The Specter of Hunger
101
More Like Winter Than Summer
129
Dearth and Revolution
149
The Year Without a Summer
167
An Ghorta Mor
181
THE MODERN WARM PERIOD
199
A Warmer Greenhouse
201
Notes
219
Index
235

The War Against the Glaciers
113

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Page 1 - When in April the sweet showers fall And pierce the drought of March to the root, and all The veins are bathed in liquor of such power As brings about the engendering of the flower...

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About the author (2000)

Brian Fagan is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he has written many internationally acclaimed popular books about archaeology, including The Little Ice Age, Floods, Famines, and Emperors, and The Long Summer. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.

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