35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850 (Hardcover)
In this fascinating book, Professor Fagan introduces something of a climactic history of Europe. The first chapter covers the Medieval Warm Period of 900 to 1300 AD, when Greenland supported a thriving dairy-producing economy, and when French vintners sought protection against the import of fine English wines! Also sprinkled through the book are references to a Mini-Ice Age that extended from 500 to 900 AD, and an earlier warm period extending from 100 to 400 AD.
The second chapter chronicles the traumatic ordeal that Europe experienced as the planet cooled and weather took on new, harsher patterns. The author then continues on to document the tribulations of Little Ice Age Europe, and the changes that the new environment spurred. In the final chapter, the end of the Little Ice Age is covered, along with the author's thoughts on Global Warming.
This book is absolutely fascinating. Most history books do not mention the climate, except as background. Professor Fagan, on the other hand, rightly shows how the climate can be a major factor. The book is easily read (and not academic in tone), and very informative.
I must admit that this book has changed some of my opinions on Global Warming, and given me a great deal to think about. I am fascinated by the apparent yo-yoing of global temperatures throughout history, and hope to find a book that looks at the subject over a longer timeframe. This is a great book, and I recommend it to everyone.