Nature's Mutiny

How the Little Ice Age of the Long Seventeenth Century Transformed the West and Shaped the Present
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
Categories: History, European
4 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An illuminating work of environmental history that chronicles the great climate crisis of the 1600s, which transformed the social and political fabric of Europe. 

Although hints of a crisis appeared as early as the 1570s, the temperature by the end of the 16th century plummeted so drastically that Mediterranean harbors were covered with ice, birds literally dropped out of the sky, and "frost fairs" were erected on a frozen Thames - with kiosks, taverns, and even brothels that become a semi-permanent part of the city. 

Recounting the deep legacy and far-ranging consequences of this "Little Ice Age", acclaimed historian Philipp Blom reveals how the European landscape had subtly, but ineradicably, changed by the mid-17th century. While apocalyptic weather patterns destroyed entire harvests and incited mass migrations, they gave rise to the growth of European cities, the emergence of early capitalism, and the vigorous stirrings of the Enlightenment. A timely examination of how a society responds to profound and unexpected change, Nature's Mutiny will transform the way we think about climate change in the 21st century and beyond.

©2017 Carl Hanser Verlag München; translation copyright 2019 by Carl Hanser Verlag München (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Quite Worthwhile

Excellent exposition on climate change and its immediate and long term effects. Demonstrates once again that climate is not stable or predictable. The author's thesis that society was irreversibly changed through required adaptation was well supported. The idea that philosophy was also significantly altered is presented well but has, in my opinion one significant fault. There was a fairly clear bias against theistic philosophy with the author sometimes reaching deep to move atheism to the forefront of philosophical thought. Other than that the author was by and large successful in excluding most other modern day viewpoint biases.

I highly recommend this book due to historical accuracy and diligent supporting research. Besides that, it flows well and is entertaining!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read for anyone who cares about a future.

This is the best book I have read this year. A wonderful history of the past that we must learn by if we are to survive.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

fascinating, however disjointed, history

5☆ if the book knew what it was supposed to be about.

it is equally:
- indictment of capitalism
- history
- ecology
- philosophy
- telling of catastrophic happenings when temperatures dropped 3° between 1650 & 1750.

Howard B

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    1 out of 5 stars

Not much content

Starts out great, little ice age, weather, famine, effects. Then devolves into the entire Renaissance history and glosses over how the little ice age figures in. Loooooooong.

3 people found this helpful