Encyclopedia of Disasters [2 volumes]: Environmental Catastrophes and Human Tragedies (Hardback)Angus M. Gunn (editor)
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Disasters can strike at any time. From the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius to Hurricane Katrina, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters have caused tremendous loss of life, human suffering, and environmental catastrophe. The complex technological and social changes of the last few centuries have not only intensified the impact of such natural disasters, but have added new introduced new reasons to be concerned - plane crashes, bombings, industrial accidents, genocides. Calling some disasters natural and others man-made downplays the important interrelationship between the event and human actions. Human actions - or inactions - can catapult a natural phenomenon into a deadly catastrophe. Likewise, nature can be terribly disrupted by events that are created by humans.
Encyclopedia of Disasters covers over 180 of the most important disasters in history. Arranged chronologically, the encyclopedia includes entries on those disasters that have had the greatest historical, environmental, and cultural impact: The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the London Fire of 1666, which flattened much of London and allowed the rebuilding of the city; the influenza epidemic of 1918, which killed millions; the 1964 Prince William Sound earthquake in Alaska, which caused death and destruction as far away as Hawaii; the worst nuclear power plant accident in Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1964, that has rendered the surrounding landscape uninhabitable; and the 2004 earthquake that created a tsunami that killed thousands in Sumatra. Each entry includes a list of readings for additional research, and the encyclopedia is illustrated with numerous photos and line illustrations that show the destruction and despair caused by these disasters.
Number of pages: 824
Weight: 1760 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 x 52 mm
"Disasters--among them earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, pandemic illnesses, landslides, and terrorist attacks--have had a significant impact on the world's people and environment throughout the last 2,000 years. Gunn, an author and professor emeritus in geography and geology, explores both natural and human-induced disasters in this set. . . . In the extensive introduction, Gunn notes that understanding of disasters anywhere in the world is vital to the preservation of our global environment. The focus on understanding causes and consequences makes this a recommended title for academic and public libraries." - Booklist
Once again Gunn has written a quintessential tome. This encyclopedia equals his prolific earlier works: Patterns in World Geography (1968), Habitat: Human Settlements in an Urban Age (1978), and Impact of Geology on the United States (CH, Apr'02, 39-4319). The Encyclopedia of Disasters presents a descriptive, illustrated account of disasters, both natural and human-induced, that have occurred throughout the world over the last 2,000 years. However, unlike other works that recant the facts and obvious destruction, Gunn identifies three characteristics germane to many disasters and then further advances the belief that understanding, preservation, and minimizing the level of destruction are an integral part of and vital to the preservation of the global environment. This encyclopedia covers more than 180 of the most important and devastating disasters in history. The chronologically arranged entries each include a list of readings for additional research. Readers will find the information presented fascinating, informative, and useful. Highly recommended. All levels. - Choice
For this guide, geographer Angus Gunn examines the significance of 184 natural and human disasters....this sweeping survey of human tragedies will satisfy the morbid curiosity of readers in a wide range of libraries, from high school to academic. - Lawrence Looks at Books
"The book is a fascinating read, and libraries will want to add this title to their general reading collections." - ARBA
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