Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind

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Bloomsbury USA, Jun 12, 2012 - History - 416 pages
2 Reviews
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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User Review  - GlennBell - LibraryThing

Mediocre book. I enjoyed the later portion of the book with respect to the present and future of water. Much of the earlier history was covered in great detail to the point of being boring. I usually ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mahallett - LibraryThing

a great book, looking at our use of water in many cultures and times. our course our time is hopeless and troublesome. a lot of cultures have moved on from a lack of water. Read full review

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About the author (2012)

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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