"What a difference a degree makes. From the tenth to the fifteenth century the earth experienced a rise in average temperature that changed climate worldwide - a preview of today's global warming. As archaeologist Brian Fagan shows in these pages, subtle shifts in the environment had far-reaching effects on human life." "Fagan unfolds both a scientific detective story, showing how centuries-old weather patterns can be reconstructed from scattered clues, and a vivid and timely historical narrative. A study of the first Great Warming suggests we may yet be underestimating the power of climate change to disrupt our lives today."--BOOK JACKET.
Opened up a whole new way of seeing European history and particularly English which is what I am interested in.
Fagan clearly expresses recent ideas and results, but can be a little repetitive at times. This and his lack of depth in discussing research methods are my only complaints about the book. In spite of this, the work was well worth the time spent, and I plan to pick up others Fagan has written - such as The Little Ice Age.
Mixed in with his clearly presented info on climatology is historical information, all backed by Fagan's years and years of research. He does not limit his focus to just weather or just archeology. He blends many factors together to form his final argument.
Which is essentially that we are fucked if all we do is worry about temperature and not drought.
One thing that did nothing for me was Fagan's attempt, at the start of every chapter, to set the scene. Ultimately, each piece is awash in vagaries and simply sets up a general idea of key features of the civilization/tribe/culture that is about to be discussed. I guess it's an attempt to "liven things up" that I didn't need but others might appreciate. Since I only read 1-2 non-fiction books a year, I was more interested in the analyses.
Edited: to fix misspelling of author's last name.