Rain: A Natural and Cultural History

Rain: A Natural and Cultural History

by Cynthia Barnett

Paperback

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Overview

Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive.
 
It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world's water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain.

Cynthia Barnett's Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River. It offers a glimpse of our "founding forecaster," Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology. Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey’s mopes and Kurt Cobain’s grunge. Rain is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume.

Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world. Too much and not nearly enough, rain is a conversation we share, and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804137119
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 315,810
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Cynthia Barnett is an award-winning environmental journalist who has reported on water from the Suwannee River to Singapore. She is the author of two previous books, Mirage and Blue Revolution, a Boston Globe top 10 science book of 2011. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and children. Visit her website at cynthiabarnett.net.

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Rain: A Natural and Cultural History 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting, entertaining & thought-provoking besides being quite readable & different subject matter. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are not enough stars to rate this book! I’ve always relished the rain, thunderstorms and had no idea what to expect in this book. I was just thoroughly overwhelmed! I had to read it in small steps so as to absorb what the author was saying and sharing. From the birth of planets, the Garden of Eden, all the ancient Rain Gods --- she just doesn’t stop --- the book includes literature, poetry, popular ads – the federal government’s attempts at controlling rain – the making of umbrellas, the rivers, storms – dust storms …. And a tree that grows on nothing but rain….an absolutely breathtaking exquisite history of RAIN, its people and their cultures! "I saw raindrops on my window, joy is like the rain................."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lena walked towards the cage slowly looking him oer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Andy! (\^~^/)