• Imported from USA.

    Revolutions, droughts, famines, invasions, wars, regicides – the
    calamities of the mid-seventeenth century were not only
    unprecedented, they were agonisingly widespread. A global crisis
    extended from England to Japan, and from the Russian Empire to
    sub-Saharan Africa. North and South America, too, suffered
    turbulence. The distinguished historian Geoffrey Parker examines
    first-hand accounts of men and women throughout the world
    describing what they saw and suffered during a sequence of
    political, economic and social crises that stretched from 1618 to
    the 1680s. Parker also deploys scientific evidence concerning
    climate conditions of the period, and his use of ‘natural’ as
    well as ‘human’ archives transforms our understanding of the
    World Crisis. Changes in the prevailing weather patterns during
    the 1640s and 1650s – longer and harsher winters, and cooler and
    wetter summers – disrupted growing seasons, causing dearth,
    malnutrition, and disease, along with more deaths and fewer
    births. Some contemporaries estimated that one-third of the world
    died, and much of the surviving historical evidence supports
    their pessimism.

    Parker’s demonstration of the link between climate change and
    worldwide catastrophe 350 years ago stands as an extraordinary
    historical achievement. And the contemporary implications of his
    study are equally important: are we at all prepared today for the
    catastrophes that climate change could bring tomorrow?