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243 × 146 × 30 mm
256 pages
70 illustrations
12 Apr 2021

Breathing An Inspired History Edgar Williams

Our knowledge of breathing has shaped our social history, and philosophical beliefs since prehistory. Breathing occupied a spiritual status to the Ancients, while today it is central to the practice of many forms of meditation, like Yoga. Over time physicians ,scientists and engineers have pieced together the intricate biological mechanisms of breathing to devise ever more sophisticated devices to support and maintain breathing indefinitely, from Iron lungs to the modern ventilator. Breathing extra oxygen has allowed us to conquer Everest, travel to the Moon, and dive to greatest ocean depths. We all seek fresh air and expect clean air to breathe, but with air pollution increasing this expectation is no longer being met. Today, airborne ailments like COVID-19 are causing disasters on a global scale. This is the story of breathing; a tale relevant to everyone.

‘An expansive piece of scholarship that explores the wild and often weird history of our most essential biological function.’ — James Nestor, author of the New York Times bestseller 'Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art'

‘Eclectic . . . Ambitious.’ — Publishers Weekly

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Edgar Williams is Professor of Cardiopulmonary Science at the University of South Wales, conducting research in respiratory and cardiovascular physiology. He is the author of Moon: Nature and Culture (2014) in Reaktion’s Earth series.