Disaster and Human History

Case Studies in Nature, Society and Catastrophe, 2d ed.

Second Edition
Not Yet Published


New 2022 Pre-Order

Available for pre-order / backorder

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

About the Book

Human history has been periodically punctuated by natural disasters, from Vesuvius’ eruption to the modern-day COVID-19 pandemic. Volcanoes have buried entire cities, while earthquakes have reduced structures to smoldering ruins. Floods and cyclones have wreaked havoc on river valleys and coastlines, and desertification and climate change have weakened society’s underpinnings. Death tolls are often escalated by starvation and illness, which frequently occur in tandem.

This second edition assesses the impact of natural disasters on human society and the effectiveness of various strategies developed to reduce their effects. This book addresses the interconnectivity of disaster and human responsibility. Chapters examine 23 updated case studies, including a new chapter on the 2011 Tōhoku tsunami and the ensuing Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Benjamin Reilly is an environmental historian working at Carnegie Mellon University’s branch campus in Qatar. His publications have included topics as various as French Revolutionary ideological discourse, lactose tolerance amongst Arabian Bedouins and Europe’s long engagement with the Eternal City of Rome.

Bibliographic Details

Benjamin Reilly
Bibliographic Info: ca. 130 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8809-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4689-3
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

Reviews of the first edition:

• “A very usable environmental manual…writing is engaging…could be a valuable resource…significantly relevant”—Teaching History: A Journal of Methods

• “A very enjoyable read, offering the tension and drama these hazards deserve.”—Natural Hazards Observer