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From epidemics and earthquakes to tornadoes and tidal waves, the overwhelming power of Nature never ceases to instil humankind with both terror and awe. As natural disasters continue to claim human lives and wreak havoc in their wake, Perils of a Restless Planet examines our attempts to understand and anticipate such phenomena. Drawing upon case studies from ancient to present times, this book focuses on scientific inquiry, technological innovation and public policy to provide a lucid and riveting look at natural disasters. While shedding light on the elusive quality of Nature and the limits scientific study and laboratory replication impose on our understanding of her mercurial ways, the author extrapolates from the history of science to suggest how we may someday learn to warn and protect vulnerable populations on our small and tempestuous planet. Anyone interested in the power of Nature will find this book compelling and informative.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521654883
ISBN-10: 0521654882
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 324
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 13-May-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions


UK Kirkus Review » The rather tortuous title conceals a very sound book about the risks to human life posed by natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and asteroid impacts. Zebrowski is a professor of physics (at Pennsylvania State University) and he writes like one - earnest by nature as well as by name! But this is almost an advantage when dealing with such intrinsically sensational raw material. The end result is a sober, compelling read that leaves you wondering just how we have managed to survive this long. Dr Sue Bowler, editor of Astronomy and Geographysics, the journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and who works at the School of Earth Sciences at Leeds University adds: Over most of the Earth's surface, you would not think that you are standing on anything restless; we think of rock as solid and safe. But the opposite is true: Earth is remarkably lively, as planets go, as demonstrated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods and wayward weather. This book brings the subject to life through eyewitness accounts and stories from survivors, while focusing on the simple physical forces behind what otherwise appears to be just mindless destruction. It is full of useful facts, presented in a digestible and entertaining fashion. (Kirkus UK)

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