Storms affect our lives in many remarkable and dangerous ways. Gales, hurricanes, cyclones, blizzards, tornados, hail and sand and dust storms regularly demonstrate the awesome power of nature that all of us experience in some form. But what causes them? What role have they played in our history, religion and the arts? And will climate change make them even more destructive?
This strikingly illustrated book takes an in-depth and unique look at the nature of storms and their impact on our lives. It shows how storms have changed the course of history, playing a decisive role in major battles and momentous revolutions from Roman times to the modern day. It describes the deadliest storms in history, such as the Bangladesh cyclone of 1970 that killed perhaps a million people, and explains how humans have tried to control storms through religion, superstition and science. Despite their potent ability to cause destruction, storms also benefit humanity. Storm describes the major role they have played in the arts, from Shakespeare’s plays to novels such as Robinson Crusoe and famous works of art by Rembrandt, Constable, Monet, Munch and Turner. It describes how storms even out global temperatures, providing rain and clearing out old trees to make way for new, and considers what will happen to storms in the future. Fully illustrated and brilliantly written, Storm is the first book to cover all aspects of these natural phenomena.
‘In this page-turning account, award-winning television journalist and writer John Withington looks at the kind of things which – thank goodness – are a rarity in our Goldilocks islands (where it’s “not too hot, not too cold” . . . Beautifully illustrated, this is a lively and informative study of the power of nature, and a reminder – for all of humanity’s industrial and military might – that in a straight fight between elemental weather forces and ourselves, the weather will win every time.’ – Eastern Daily Press
‘Beautifully illustrated with many color photographs and art reproductions, Storm could serve as a basic introduction to the phenomena, history, and effects of notable storms . . . [Storm] will be of great interest to a wide variety of readers.’ – Choice
‘a strikingly illustrated book that takes an in-depth look at the nature of storms and their impact on our lives. We tend to think of storms as being inherently destructive, but they can also benefit humanity in many ways – by evening out global temperatures, for example, providing rain and clearing out old trees to make way for new. This is a fascinating book from one of Britain’s leading “disaster historians”.’ – Methodist Recorder
John Withington is an award-winning television journalist and one of Britain’s leading disaster historians. He is the author of Flood: Nature and Culture (Reaktion, 2013), A Disastrous History of the World (2008) and London’s Disasters (2011).