An Explosive History - From the Alchemists of China to the Battlefields of Europe
By (author) Clive Ponting
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Gunpowder by Clive Ponting
Book DescriptionFor many, gunpowder is associated with Guy Fawkes and the attempt to blow up parliament on 5 November 1605. Fewer people know that the formula for gunpowder was in fact discovered more than 1,000 years ago - in China - and by accident - and was initially a medicine. This fascinating book tells the story of the huge impact of gunpowder on every state and empire in the world. For 400 years the Chinese kept it to themselves, until a Mongol soldier leaked the secret to the Islamic world, where gunpowder played a crucial role in the rise of the great empires of the Ottomans and the Mughals: the spectacular capture of Constantinople in 1453 was accomplished through new siege tactics, while India was conquered with muskets and artillery mounted on 700 carts held together with ox harnesses. Even more important was the impact of gunpowder on Europe, where new weapons created new states and helped Europeans go on to dominate the rest of the world. Packed with unexpected and interesting facts, Gunpowder is an exciting, devastating and important story.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781844135431
(198mm x 130mm x 17mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 2-Nov-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Clive Ponting
New Green History of the World, Paperback / softback (August 2007)
In an important work that forces readers to view history with new eyes, Ponting shows in compelling detail how, over and over, human beings throughout history have prospered by exploiting the Earth's resources to the point where they could no longer sustain societies' populations, causing collapse. Publicity to tie in with Earth Day (April 23rd).
Crimean War, Paperback (November 2005)
Tells the story of the heroism of the ordinary soldiers, through eye-witness accounts of the men who fought and those who survived the terrible winter of 1854-55. To contemporaries, it was 'The Great War with Russia' - fought not only in the Black Sea and the Crimea, but also in the Baltic, the Arctic, the Pacific, and the Caucasus.
Thirteen Days, Paperback (June 2003)
Diplomatic history - of 13 July 1914 to Tuesday 4 August - with a narrative of mounting tension and containing much orginal research and analysis.
World History, Paperback (October 2001)» View all books by Clive Ponting
Starting from the assumption that the human story has to be seen in the round, this history examines the evolution of humans, their lives as hunters and gatherers and their eventual adoption of agriculture, before looking at the emergence of civilization across the globe.
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Author Biography - Clive Ponting
Clive Ponting was until recently Reader in Politics and International Relations at the University of Wales, Swansea. His Green History of the World was an international bestseller, and his revisionist biography of Churchill raised a storm of controversy. Available in Pimlico are his most recent books: The Pimlico History of the Twentieth Century; World History: A New Perspective; Thirteen Days: The Road to the First World War; and The Crimean War. He recently took early retirement and now lives on a small Greek island where he is creating a Mediterranean garden and cultivating olives.
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